During the weekend of 8th to 9th September, JRNSW Youth Ambassadors Trei Stewart, Beau Foster, Kobie Duncan and Mi-Kaisha Masella, along with Champion Teela Reid travelled from Sydney to Bourke on a learning trip to speak directly to Bourke community members about Maranguka Justice Reinvestment.
To ensure the voices of young people are central in calls for justice reinvestment, Just Reinvest NSW appointed Youth Ambassadors who have represented Just Reinvest NSW at various events and advocated for justice reinvestment across multiple platforms. Current Just Reinvest NSW Youth Ambassadors are based in Sydney and are from the Gamilaroi, Yuin, Wiradjuri, Wailwan, Dharumbal and many other nations.
The Just Reinvest NSW Youth Ambassadors travelled to Bourke, to learn as much as possible from the Bourke community and its young people.
During their time in Bourke, the Youth Ambassadors met with members of the Maranguka team: Alistair Ferguson, Executive Director and Vivianne Prince, Backbone Coordinator, to gain a deeper understanding of Maranguka Justice Reinvestment. They attended the PCYC and played touch football, soccer, and basketball with young people. They met with the Local Area Commander Greg Moore, and heard about a different approach to policing. The Youth Ambassadors also met with Aunty Dot Martin and learned about the history of Bourke, visited the red dust around Mt Gundabooka, and cuddled WIRES rescued kangaroos.
Hearing directly from Bourke community members about the community-led work taking place in Bourke inspired them to continue to advocate for justice reinvestment and to share what they had learned with their own communities.
Prior to the trip the Youth Ambassadors did advocacy workshops with Teela Reid and Mark Riboldi (CLCNSW) around their power as First Nations young people in advocating for change and talked with JRNSW Champion Keenan Mundine from Inside Out Aboriginal Justice Consultancy about his personal advocacy journey.
Youth Ambassador Trei Stewart, who participated in the trip, emphasised the importance of justice reinvestment to ensure “Aboriginal people don’t lose another generation to the criminal justice system.”