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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 3 June 2021) . . Page.. 1745 ..


system—such as homeless and poverty, mental health, domestic and family violence, disability, drug and alcohol issues and trauma, not just for the young person but within their family—are the same things that can contribute to a young person having difficulty engaging in education, as the minister was just speaking about. This is why it is so essential that Bimberi maintains that all young people, including those over school leaving age, attend Murrumbidgee school, which is administered by the ACT Education Directorate.

Young people in Bimberi say that attending education and participating in Murrumbidgee school is one of their most valued activities. Having visited Bimberi and spoken to some of the young people and school staff, I can attest to the value of the Murrumbidgee school as an education provider. On my recent visit to Bimberi, the teachers said that the connections they are able to build with schools and colleges in the community is a key element to ensuring that children and young people transition well back into the community.

Where appropriate, the connections that Murrumbidgee school can maintain with the young person’s school in the community is a great way to reduce return visits to Bimberi. I note that many young people who enter Bimberi are there for short periods while on remand, and that makes those connections to community schools all the more important. Murrumbidgee school programs are supplemented by other activities and programs delivered by external organisations. The school has an Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders transition officer who facilitates the transition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people into appropriate training, education or employment options.

This education work is well supported by the youth workers at Bimberi who supervise young people during education programs and offer support and assistance as required by the young person and guided by the teacher. Bimberi’s youth workers are required to participate in a seven-week comprehensive induction program prior to commencing at Bimberi. This induction program includes trauma-informed practice, cultural awareness, emergency operating procedures and responding to critical situations, and it incorporates a human rights e-learning component.

In addition to the comprehensive induction program, Bimberi supports youth workers to complete a certificate IV in youth work that enables them to support young people to create opportunities in their lives. For the benefit of children and young people, it is important that educators and youth workers have separate but collaborative and complementary roles. This ensures that children and young people receive education to the standard of the community and allows youth workers to focus on delivering other essential social and wellbeing supports.

Finally, as the minister responsible for youth justice, I want to restate my commitment to ensuring that children and young people are diverted away from the youth justice system through supports that keep them in the community. I have spoken in this place more than once about radical love and I am going to keep doing it because it applies to our young people, especially those who are in contact with the justice system. Justice cannot be achieved without love, which is why every decision we take in this place in relation to youth justice must be done from a place of seeking to provide the


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