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2023 has seen the Learning the Macleay (LtM) initiative take leaps and bounds towards establishing itself within Kempsey and the Macleay Valley with a backbone team now nearly fully established with two Community Connectors and a Communication and Media Officer.

As the team expands, they are now working with Just Reinvest NSW (JR NSW) to find and establish a new office space in Kempsey and to get their systems and processes in place to ensure they are in the best possible place to make a positive impact within their local community.

Up until this point, the LtM Partnership Lead Jo Anne Kelly has been working with the locally formed Community Reference Team to present the initiative to the local community and to begin the process of socializing and establishing community connections.

Earlier this year 30 community members and local service providers came together to form a Learning Circle to begin the early-stage mapping process and to decide upon a commitment for the next 12 months of the initiative.

From the Learning Circle, three Key Priority Areas were highlighted: Racism, Relationships and Right Timing and actions and timeframes were established to address and support these priority areas moving forward.

The backbone team is now planning a roadshow across the region to highlight the LtM initiative and to gather further community led recommendations for systems change. A community media team has also been established to capture the journey with members made up from local community organisations and school students. The media team recently undertook Digital Storytelling training (image above) and will soon be sharing the ‘Learning the Macleay’ journey through a variety of different media outlets.

The beginning

In May 2023 JR NSW was invited back to Dunghutti country, to continue working alongside ‘Learning the Macleay’ – a community led collaborative initiative funded by the Australian government in partnership with philanthropy, and the local service sector. In June 2023 JR NSW welcomed the NSW Government’s commitment to back our justice reinvestment approach in Dunghutti (Kempsey and the Macleay Valley).

This initiative is a collaboration with the community and partners like the Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation, NSW Department of Communities and Justice, Commonwealth Department of Social Services, Dusseldorp Forum and the Paul Ramsay Foundation. 

In these communities we already see Aboriginal people leading change and Justice Reinvestment is supporting their work to further empower them to achieve deeper impact.

JR NSW is working with the ‘Learning the Macleay’ to establish systems change priorities in a Stronger Places, Stronger People partnership. Through this partnership the implementing partner, the Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation, will have a clear focus on data analysis that will help determine “justice circuit breakers” and establish relationships with the local and regional NSW Police commands.

Justice Reinvest NSW. communities in dunghutti country kempsey and nowra ready for jr

Get Involved/
As a Community member

Here you can discover the ways of learning about and engaging with JR that will best suit your community and the circumstances that you find are affecting Aboriginal People’s contact with the criminal justice system, and what you can do about it.

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