July 2019: NAIDOC Week is an annual event to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to recognise and share the contributions that Aboriginal Australians make to our country and society.
The theme for NAIDOC week 2019 is: Songlines: Voice, Treaty, Truth. Let's work together for a shared future.
The Children's Court of NSW acknowledges the impact of past laws and policies and is committed to doing what it can to address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people involved in Children's Court proceedings.
This week we acknowledge the important contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff play in improving our understanding of issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Children's Court staff attended the NSW Department of Communities and Justice Flag Raising Ceremony to mark NAIDOC week. The event included an Acknowledgement of Country, and didgeridoo and dance performance.
Court Liaison Officer for the Youth Koori Court, Alinta Tatana, a Wadjibal woman of the Bundjalung Nation, delivered a speech at the event (pictured). Alinta spoke about her work and education opportunities as a young Aboriginal woman. She also discussed how the NAIDOC theme, 'Voice, Treaty, Truth', was particularly relevant to the Youth Koori Court, which is a Children's Court initiative to give Indigenous children, families and communities a greater voice in criminal proceedings.
June 2019: CLN Volume 1 includes a number of cases and papers which are of relevance to the Children's Court jurisdiction.
May 2019: The Department of Justice is seeking expressions of interest from suitable support services to assist in the delivery of the Youth Koori Court program. For more information, please see the Youth Koori Court – Support Services flyer.
May 2019: The Department of Justice is seeking respected community members within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to be appointed as Community Panel Members for the Youth Koori Court at Parramatta and Surry Hills. If you are interested in being a Community Panel Member, please complete an Expression of Interest form. For more information, please see Frequently Asked Questions.
February 2019: The sittings of the Youth Koori Court at Surry Hills commenced on 6 February 2019. The President of the Children’s Court, Judge Johnstone and Children’s Magistrate Duncombe welcomed the Attorney General, the Honourable Mark Speakman SC and other distinguished guests at a ceremonial sitting to mark the commencement of sittings on 6 February 2019. A transcript of the ceremonial sitting is now available.
The Youth Koori Court involves Aboriginal Elders and other Respected Persons in the court process to provide advice to the magistrate in relation to cultural issues and to assist young people appearing before the Court to strengthen connections to their family, culture and community and encourage them to take steps to address the issues that may be impacting on their offending.
The Youth Koori Court factsheet has been updated to reflect the expansion of the process to Surry Hills Children’s Court and Practice Note 11 has been amended and was re-issued on 1 February 2019.
The recruitment process for Elders and Respected Persons for both Surry Hills Youth Koori Court and Parramatta Youth Koori Court is ongoing and further information about this process can be obtained through the Children’s Court’s project officer on 8688 1459.