Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 March 2017) . . Page.. 947 ..
ACT government has demonstrated and to show and renew the government’s continued support for addressing climate change nationally.
I would like to extend my thanks to Steve Posselt and everyone who attended the event, which raised important awareness of the climate emergency that we face as a nation and as a jurisdiction here in the ACT.
Tjillari Justice Aboriginal Corporation
MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (6.27): I would like to bring to the attention of the Assembly the plight of the Tjillari Justice Aboriginal Corporation, one of the many organisations with limited income who have relied heavily on SHOUT and their services. With reference to the disappointing result from today’s motion, I would like to highlight the wonderful work of just one of the organisations that have used the SHOUT premises for meetings and training facilities. This is yet another organisation that is going to have great difficulty in continuing to operate without them.
Tjillari Justice Aboriginal Corporation exists to reduce the number of children transitioning from parental incarceration into the juvenile justice system and on to adult offending. A not-for-profit organisation, it has been wholly dependent on self-generating funds and the generous support of others through grants and donations. One of those donations has come from the United States, yet this organisation that does so much good work cannot get support from our own ACT government.
There is a significant problem in Australia. Each year more than 80,000 children experience the trauma and stress of having a parent in the Australian justice system. Of these, it is estimated that 70 per cent will go on to become juvenile offenders, and more than 85 per cent of these will also become adult offenders. The recent COAG closing the gap report states that in the ACT 19.4 per cent of these prisoners are Indigenous, and that that number is growing. Research has also shown that the toxic stress and repeated trauma of having a parent in prison has a significant effect on the development of the brain of young children, leading to offending behaviour as young people and graduating to adult offending.
Tjillari justice is working to break this cycle of intergenerational crime by working with vulnerable families and offering them support for the psychological, social and educational needs of children with a parent in the justice system. They work to empower parents, carers, foster parents, grandparents, teachers and members of the community using proven, neurologically based, therapeutic approaches designed to break the cycle of intergenerational offending.
There is a significant gap in the ACT in relation to the support of offenders’ children and families. These families, and the children, who are most vulnerable, do not receive support unless they are already in the care and protection system. Yet the aim of the Tjillari system is to keep these children out of the system and in the care of their community.
Tjillari justice was begun in 2014, but since its foundation it has not had any government support or funding. In fact, for the past four years this hardy band of