Just Reinvest NSW has four Youth Ambassadors who have been involved in advocating for justice reinvestment since we began in 2012.
We have been engaging with Aboriginal children and young people around NSW to talk to them about justice reinvestment as a way forward. What we’ve learnt is that young people get the concept of justice reinvestment a lot quicker than many adults, because it just makes sense to them.
Weave has been spearheading Just Reinvest NSW’s youth engagement. It is crucial that the voices of Aboriginal young people are front and centre and that their stories are heard.
Six Aboriginal young people attended our launch event at Government House in May 2012 and one of those, Trei Stewart, made a speech on the night.
Two others, Beau Foster and Kobie Duncan performed a rap they had written for the occasion.
Trei also features in the original video promoting justice reinvestment as does Raymond Button, another of Weave’s young ambassadors.
Trei and Raymond also featured in the National Indigenous Times and Koori Mail as well as Trei appearing on The Project on Channel 7 and SBS news around the time of the launch in 2012.
Beau and Kobie have written a few rap songs which they perform at schools and events to further the discussion of justice reinvestment.
In 2013 they wrote and produced this rap song – Justice Reinvented – using their mobile phones and a backing track. Justice Reinvented includes Kobie and Beau, with video by Trei.
Kobie wrote JR Rap during a youth engagement field trip to Tirkandi Innaburra near Griffith NSW to share information and creative ideas with the Aboriginal young men in that program.
An Aboriginal boy liven life in the struggle,
growing up in life causing nothing but trouble,
spending all your money locking us in a cell,
but what you didn’t really know is that we liven in hell.
Lock me up in a cell it won’t break my strength,
you say you tri’na do your job n I got nothing against,
it’s like the world keeps spinning but the people don’t change,
only in it for the money only in it for the fame.
Putting money in the jail but where’s the money for us,
never give us chances just to gain your trust,
never had a lot of money so I rhyme for a living,
just n ordinary koori stuck on housing commission.
N for the kids on the mission where’s the future for us,
cause with the reinvestment the cells are nothing but dust,
it’s called a JUSTICE REINVESTMENT n not to worry or fuss,
you’ll be saving lots of money it’s just sumthing u must.
Take the shame out of our name us kooris destine for fame,
why you playing with our lives this aint a video game,
Go ahead wif tha plan to make my bed but wif programs n services il stay ahead,
given no opportunity or care in wat we said,
then u mite as just consider us as nufink but dead
DONT OFFEND US AND REOFFEND US
Spreading the word
There have been gatherings of young people from Weave and White Lion to discuss justice reinvestment and how they can raise the profile and get support and spread the word among other young people.
Kobie, Trei and Beau were on ABC News talking about why we need justice reinvestment.
They presented their stories and rap and talked about justice reinvestment at Sydney Girls High School for their NAIDOC day.
The three boys also blew everyone away at the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition National Conference in Adelaide. They talked about justice reinvestment and told their stories and performed a new rap specially written for the event. The response was overwhelming.
On August 15th 2013, Her Excellency Marie Bashir the Governor of NSW invited the JR Youth Ambassadors back to Government House for morning tea and a chance to find out what they had been doing since the launch. Professor Bashir was suitably impressed with their progress and hard work and she pledged steadfast support for Just Reinvest NSW and encouraged them to continue their efforts and reach for the stars in their education and careers. It was a very inspirational meeting.
In 2015 our Youth Ambassadors attended a Just Reinvest NSW Policy position at Parliament House launch to encourage all sides of government to adopt justice reinvestment as an election commitment. They attended Government House, again, this time to welcome His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) as a new Champion of Just Reinvest NSW. They also attended an important function at Gilbert & Tobin bringing all the stakeholders together.
Films made by and for the mob
Aboriginal children (7 – 16 years) from Bourke, Moruya, Wagga Wagga and Taree, NSW have been participating in the ALS Talking FactSheet Project, turning legal messages into short films.
The films are made by the children and young people, telling the stories they want to tell in the style and genre that they choose. Each film took 1-3 days to make in their own communities.
The Talking Fact Sheet project, put together by Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) aims to inspire young Aboriginal people to develop skills in new media technologies and to use the web to source and upload legal rights information that speak to their own lives. At the same time, the project aims to increase accessibility to legal and human rights information for Aboriginal men, women and children in Aboriginal communities and households across NSW.
The Talking Fact Sheet project also addresses the aim of developing and implementing sustainable, prevention-based initiatives through the production of accessible, educative, informative and entertaining films that reach a broad range of young people and meet their early legal information needs.
By producing moving images, the Talking Fact Sheet project is tapping into the power of visual storytelling, the huge potential created by making filmmaking accessible to all, and the advent of social networking tools. The Talking Fact Sheet project promotes ‘accelerated crowd learning’ and provides a platform for social change.
Festival of Short Films
Aboriginal children from Bourke, Moruya and Wagga Wagga, NSW headed to Sydney for the premiere of their short films on Monday 14 December 2015, where they met up with Just Reinvest NSW’s Youth Ambassadors Beau, Trei and Kobie.
A massive fundraising campaign was launched to bring the regional kids to Sydney, with members of the Australian public contributing over $4,030 for travel, meals and accommodation.
The children’s films were showcased at the Festival of Short Films at 107 Projects, 107 Redfern Street, Redfern from 6-8pm.
The children aged 12-17 years, produced more than twelve films as part of the ALS Talking FactSheet Project, a two-year venture funded by the Law and Justice Foundation aimed at turning legal information sheets produced by Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) into moving images, thereby increasing the uptake of legal messages.
In every community, local groups and agencies, including the Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project in Bourke were enlisted to assist the productions, either as actors, drivers, or providing workshop accommodation.
The kids attended 2-3 day workshops in their communities and in that time-frame selected one of their own stories after a huge yarn-up session, then story-boarded, scripted, filmed, acted, directed, produced and edited 1-3 short films using local equipment.
The films are told in a genre and style that reflect local flavours, and in a manner that shares local experiences of how young people are dealing with police, the law and other issues affecting them. The films produced reflect real-life legal scenarios that Aboriginal young people face in their local communities.
All of the kids presented their own short films at the Festival, after being greeted with a Welcome to Country and a rap performance of Justice Reinvented by Kobie and Beau.
The Moruya mob were on the TV news talking about their films, as were the kids from Wagga Wagga.
You can view all of the films here. We hope you enjoy them.