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Our team

We began in 2011 as a coalition of more than 20 organisations and strategic initiative of the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT. Our small team are guided by an Executive of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and supported by a network of champions, youth ambassadors and supporters across the corporate, government and for-purpose sectors. To meet the people and organisations that make Just Reinvest NSW possible, please follow the links below:

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Executive Committee

Jack Beetson

 

Co-Chair

Professor Beetson is a Ngemba man with extensive experience in adult education, community development and Indigenous and human rights education. He is an adjunct Professor at the University of New England and in 2017 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate. He is one of only 12 people worldwide to have received a United Nations Unsung Hero Award. Beetson is Chair of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council Economic Development Advisory Committee, Board member of Social Enterprise Finance Australia, Executive Director of Beetson & Associates and Executive Director of Literacy for Life Foundation. Professor Beetson was most recently honoured by being the first Indigenous Australian to be inducted into the International Hall of Fame of Adult and Continuing Education.

Sarah Hopkins

 

Co-Chair

Sarah Hopkins is Co-Chair of Just Reinvest NSW and the Managing Solicitor of Justice Projects at the Aboriginal Legal Service ACT/NSW. She is an accredited specialist in criminal law and has lectured in criminal law at the University of NSW. Sarah has been working alongside the Bourke community since 2012 in support of the Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project in Bourke, which was the recipient of the 2015 National Rural Law and Justice Award. In 2019 Just Reinvest NSW was the recipient of both the HESTA Community Organisation Award and the Australian Human Rights Commission Community Organisation Award.

Sarah is a member of the NSW Bar Association’s Joint Working Party on the Over-representation of Indigenous People in the NSW Criminal Justice System. Throughout her career Sarah has served on numerous committees including the Criminal Law Committee of the Law Society of NSW, the Steering Committee for the Red Cross Vulnerability Report 2015, and as Vice President of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties. In 2017 Sarah was named the Community Lawyer of the Year by the Women Lawyers’ Association of NSW.

Gino Vumbaca

 

Treasurer

Gino Vumbaca is a member of the Executive Committee, Just Reinvest NSW. He has extensive experience in the HIV/ AIDS and drug and alcohol fields both in Australia and internationally. He is a Churchill Fellow, has completed a Social Work degree and a Master of Business Administration at the University of Sydney and is a qualified Company Director. Gino has worked as the Manager of HIV/AIDS and related services with the NSW Department of Corrective Services, in a variety of drug and alcohol centres as a counsellor and was responsible for coordinating the establishment of the NSW network of needle and syringe exchange programs for the NSW Health Department. Gino also continues to provide advice on prisons, HIV and drug issues for international organisations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organisation. Gino Vumbaca is the Principal of 3V Consulting Services and President and Co-Founder of Harm Reduction Australia.

Mark Riboldi

 

Secretary

Mark Riboldi has been volunteering with Just Reinvest NSW since 2017 and an Executive Committee member since 2018. He supports the team around facilitation, advocacy and strategic communications. Mark has worked as the Advocacy & Communications Manager at Community Legal Centres NSW, as a political media and policy adviser in NSW Parliament to David Shoebridge and Jenny Leong, and as an English language teacher in Australia and abroad. He is currently working at the Sydney Policy Lab at the University of Sydney on collaborative research and policy projects. Mark’s various writings can be found here, and he lurks on twitter here.

Daniel Daylight

 

Executive Committee Member

Daniel is a proud Gamilaraay (NSW) man who has family ties to the Gubi Gubi nation (QLD). Daniel has a passion for helping Aboriginal children and youth caught in the criminal justice system and has spent his working life in the justice sector. He worked on the development of the Youth Koori Court (YKC) including consultation with community and development of the program with other stakeholders.

He believes if the appropriate support mechanisms are placed around our young Aboriginal people in the Justice system and we can empower them, then they can and will be among our leaders in the future. He is currently the Managing Director of Infinite Hope Aboriginal Corporation, an organisation that has been set up to work with Aboriginal young people involved in both the criminal justice and the out of home care systems. Daniel is also a Director of the Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service board and lifelong member of the organisation. He is honoured to be on the Just Reinvest NSW Executive Committee.

Kristy Masella

 

Executive Committee Member

Kristy Masella is a Murri from Rockhampton, Dharumbal country in Central Queensland who has dedicated her life to empowering Aboriginal communities. She has worked in Aboriginal Affairs for more than 25 years across many portfolios in both NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory. Kristy is the CEO and Executive Director of the national Indigenous recruitment and training company, AES, who empowers Aboriginal people through employment and community development. Prior to this role she was the head of Social Justice for Aboriginal Affairs NSW and led a major review of the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act.

Kristy has been named one of Australia’s Top 100 Most Influencial Woman by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac. She also went on to be awarded one of the Top 10 Category winners as Diversity Winner. Kristy studied Journalism at the University of Queensland and has been presented with a number of prestigious awards in her career such as the National Trust Print Media Commendation Award and the Australian Society of Archivists Mander Jones Award for her work as co-author of Connecting Kin. Kristy holds a Masters in Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of NSW specialising in Indigenous rights.

Kristy is the Chairperson of Tranby Aboriginal College. She has been an active member of the Tranby Board of Directors since in 2009. Kristy is also the Deputy Chairperson of Wunanbiri Incorporated, one of the most successful independent Aboriginal community preschools in NSW whichshe has been committed to supporting for 15 years. She was a member of the inaugural Committee of Sydney University’s National Centre of Cultural Competencies to establish the Community Council, is a former co-chair of the NSW Reconciliation Council, and was nominated for the NSW Justice Award in 2014. Kristy is a mother of two daughters.

Paul Wright

 

Executive Committee Member

Paul Wright is the National Director of ANTaR. He has nearly two decades of experience working in both Government and non-government sectors – covering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, health, immigration and social services.Most recently, Paul was the Executive Officer for the Close the Gap Campaign Secretariat and the National Health Leadership Forum at the Australian Human Rights Commission. He continues to sit on the Steering Committees for the Close the Gap and Change the Record campaigns and is also proud to be a member of the Just Reinvest NSW Executive Committee. Paul studied politics and international relations at the University of Canberra and has a Masters of Strategic Studies from the Australian National University.

Ashlee Kearney

 

Executive Committee Member

A proud Ngiyampaa, Wiradjuri and Ngemba woman from far west New South Wales, Ashlee was born and spent most of her life on Dharug country in Auburn, NSW. She studied a Bachelor of Educational Studies and an Associate Degree in Indigenous Education at the Australian Catholic University, Strathfield, NSW. Ashlee has also completed postgraduate studies in Public Policy at the Australian National University, Acton, ACT.

Her professional background spans across the education, social and community work sectors and in the political and policy fields. Ashlee is the Disability Royal Commission Project Manager at the First Peoples Disability Network. She is committed to making a difference for all Australians, especially the First Nations peoples and women through education. Ashlee is extremely passionate in policy and politics and was until recently a Policy advisor for both Senator Patrick Dodson and the Honourable Linda Burney MP. Ashlee aims to demonstrate her skills and lived experiences to improve the lives and well-being, especially to empower and support women, children and First Nations communities.

Karlie Stewart

 

Executive Committee Member

Karlie Stewart is a Wandi Wandian Woman from Yuin Country on the South Coast of New South Wales. She lived in Nowra throughout her childhood and spent time around the Nowra, Wreck Bay and Jerrinja Aboriginal communities with her family. Since 10 years old, Karlie has lived on Bidjigal land and has strong connections to the La Perouse Aboriginal community. In early 2019, Karlie graduated with an Honours in Social Work from the University of New South Wales and has since worked as a Child, Youth and Family caseworker at Weave Youth and Community Services. She is passionate about healing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities, particularly from intergenerational trauma as a result of historic and current government interventions.

Trent Wallace

 

Executive Committee Member

Trent is a proud First Nations man who grew up on Darkinjung Country. Trent is the First Nations Advisor and Lawyer at Ashurst, which is the first and only role of its kind within a global law firm. Prior to joining Ashurst, Trent has held roles with Australian Government Solicitor and the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability where Trent was the first Aboriginal lawyer on staff. After noticing a gap in legal knowledge for young lawyers, Trent developed course content for the University Of New South Wales Practical Legal Training Program, which looks at ways to work most effectively with First Nations clients. Trent is involved with New South Wales Young Lawyers, is on the Indigenous Issues Committee of the Law Society of New South Wales  and is Co-Chair of the Legal Profession Reconciliation Network. Trent looks forward to promoting and advancing the voices of First Nations Peoples through JR NSW, noting that First Nations Peoples must be the first voices listened to.

Our Staff 

Sydney Team

Alanna Reneman

 

Operations Manager

Alanna is a proud Anaiwan inyenda (woman). As an Indigenous woman she is passionate about achieving justice for her fellow mob and has a particular interest in elevating the voices of young peoples. She is focused on systems change and strategic thinking and and believes collaborative working and interdisciplinary partnership is the corner stone to creating genuine change.

Alanna’s role at Just Reinvest NSW focuses on supporting Indigenous Data Sovereignty, managing the operations process, improving efficiency, developing and delivering on strategic objectives and designing the monitoring evaluation and learning framework of the organisation.

Jenny Lovric

 

Community Engagement & Partnerships Manager

Jenny has worked in the access to justice sector for over 20 years and joined Just Reinvest NSW after 12 years working in regional and remote communities with Legal Aid NSW. After many years working in the government sector as a lawyer, she is committed to a different way of working that places communities’ experience and expertise at the centre to lead genuine place-based and systems change.

Jenny’s role at Just Reinvest NSW focuses on working alongside communities to explore how community-led change can lead to better outcomes for young people, their families and the broader community. Working with an impressive team of local Aboriginal people in Moree and Mt Druitt, Jenny plays an important role in listening to and learning from community expertise and experience, while supporting community participation and leadership – and using these learnings to support local change while informing broader state-wide policy, legislative and practice reform and broader systems change.

Nicole Mekler

 

Youth Lead

Nicole’s role at Just Reinvest NSW focuses on supporting young Aboriginal people to be involved and at the centre of community-led change and state-wide policy and legislative reform. Nicole has been working with young Aboriginal people and communities in a variety of roles for more than a decade and has built and maintained strong relationships and connections that have shaped her life. Nicole works alongside Bourke, Moree and Mt Druitt communities supporting First Nations communities leading change, youth participation, service sector and criminal justice reform, and adequate and holistic access to mental health support.

Jo Lunzer

 

Policy & Advocacy Lead

Jo has worked in research and project management positions including at the Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse, the NSW Reconciliation Council and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. Jo has also served as a board member for ANTaR NSW.

Jo’s role at Just Reinvest NSW is to lead the development and implementation of  strategies aimed at influencing policy and systems change to support community-led agendas and reduce interactions with the criminal justice system. This includes facilitating collaboration with community members, partner organisations, academics, and government on key projects and initiatives. 

Lucy Tierney

 

Project Officer

Lucy is proud Anaiwan woman, who takes pride in the strength and resilience of our people. Lucy is passionate about helping our mob overcome the injustices facing First Nations people within the criminal justice system, particularly their overrepresentation within the system. She knows that Aboriginal people hold the solutions and is honoured to be working alongside Aboriginal communities leading the change.

Lucy’s role at Just Reinvest NSW focuses on supporting the communications, projects and administration needs of the team. In this role Lucy also works on a variety of diverse projects with communities as they arise, to support collaboration between stakeholders and provide administrative support to project work.

Fiona Allison

 

Community Data Consultant

Fiona is an academic, has worked alongside numerous communities interested in implementing justice reinvestment, including Katherine, Cairns and Cherbourg and is Convenor of the Justice Reinvestment National Network. Fiona believes at the heart of justice reinvestment sits compassion and understanding of why people offend, and greater accountability of those that hold most power to influence peoples’ lives positively and negatively. She enjoys the focus on self-determination, collaborative approaches and systems-based change and believes justice reinvestment provides a positive and constructive way forward to so many things we get wrong as a society. 

Fiona’s role at Just Reinvestment NSW focuses on supporting Indigenous Data Sovereignty and delivering a data driven approach to justice reinvestment. Her work assists in pulling all of the threads together, with community sitting at the centre, to help build happy, healthy, strong communities and to bring about necessary systems-based change.

Maranguka Team

Alistair Ferguson

 

Founder and Executive Director

Alistair was the Chairperson of the Bourke Aboriginal Community Working Party for more than 10 years. Justice reinvestment is a core component of the Maranguka initiative. Key to Alistair’s community development is the belief in seeing communities truly empowered and taking responsibility for their own issues and plight.

In 2018, Alistair was nominated for the Australia’s Local Hero Award which aims to acknowledge the extraordinary contributions individuals make in their local community. In 2015, in recognition of 20 years of work for his community in Bourke, and in particular for his leadership on the Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project, Alistair received the Aboriginal Justice Award at the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW Justice Awards. Alistair Ferguson is a Director at Orana Haven Rehabilitation Centre and NSW Aboriginal Housing Office Member of the Regional Aboriginal Housing Committee, as well as on the Corrective Services Aboriginal Advisory Council.

Vivianne Prince

 

Backbone Coordinator

Vivianne’s role at Maranguka is to facilitate and support the cross-sector collaboration and learning needed to achieve the community’s goals in the Growing our Kids Up Safe, Smart Strong strategy. 

Samara Milgate

 

Executive Assistant & Project Officer

Samara’s role at Maranguka is to provide assistance to the Executive Director and to provide office management and information co-ordination.

Tyra Kelly

 

Communications and Data Officer

Tyra’s role at Maranguka is to work part of a multi-disciplinary team to provide communications and community engagement support to Maranguka, including data support to the working groups.

Moree Team

Judy Duncan

 

Moree Community Engagement Officer

Jude is a Gomeroi woman with almost four decades of experience working with education, disabilities, child protection, age care and juvenile justice.

“What I want to see is less young people before the criminal justice system in Moree. I want the young people to help build our community and utilise their strength and knowledge to empower themselves to make this place a better place, for themselves and everyone else in this community for many years to come so their children and grandchildren can benefit from having a safer, stronger community. JR in Moree is putting young peoples’ voices at the centre. It’s about giving mine, yours, our children and young people a say, listening to them, making them feel heard and valued, someone is listening.”

“My mob are very resilient Mob, country tough and staunch, fighters, never give up, so it’s hoped through this approach with Justice Reinvestment having whole of community involved in leading decision and assistance involving especially the young people help build bigger and better pathways for everyone.”

“It’s is important the children and young people in our community are given every opportunity to grow, be independent and strong leaders as they are the future.”

Mekayla Cochrane

 

Moree Project and Administration Officer

Mekayla Cochrane is a proud Gomeroi woman, born and raised in Moree. With many of Mekayla’s family going through the system, she has experienced firsthand the impact it can have on families. She is passionate about breaking the cycle and the “normality” young people experience in their homes, with education as a main focus key. Through these experiences Mekayla is able to easily compare and identify where the system has failed the Aboriginal people in the community.

Mekayla’s role at Just Reinvest NSW focuses on engaging with community to work together in making their own decisions on what their people need to be able to succeed and grow.

“I can’t wait to see how the community rise up and take back control of their lives, create a safe and stable homes, educate themselves and lead a promising future”

Mt Druitt Team

Julie Williams

 

Mt Druitt Community Engagement Officer

Julie is a single mother to 5 children, and grandmother to 11 grandchildren. She is a proud Gamilaroi women born and raised in Mt Druitt. She was raised strong in identity, community and culture, through both her mother and father’s family. Both herself and her family have experiences with the criminal justice system which allows Julie to better understand the forces that pull our young people in. She strongly believes in the need for early intervention and better community-based support for families.

“Just Reinvestment allows me to be involved in change and better support parents and their families to lead their own change. The criminal justice system is letting us down, they traumatize young people. We need to recongise that every community is different, and every family has their own story. We need to be looking at our data and deciding what do we do with it, listening to local Elders and young people and taking lead from them to begin the solution. If they haven’t lived our experience, how do they know what our struggle is? They need to listen to us and our stories. We, as members of the Mt Druitt community, have lived experiences of these issues and hold the solutions.”

Isaiah Sines

 

Mt Druitt Youth Engagement Consultant

Isaiah Sines is a proud Dhungatti man from Kempsey and also has ties to the Wiradjuri people. After moving around a lot early in his life he is now settled in Mt Druitt.

“I have experienced a lot in my life and that is why I wanted to become a youth ambassador with Just Reinvest. I hope to be able to use this position to advocate for other Koori kids who are going through what I went through and hopefully prevent the future generations from being affected by the same systems I grew up in. I like the concept behind Just Reinvest and how the organisation understands that Aboriginal people have the solutions to the issues that affect us and that we just need to support communities to heal themselves.”

Some Isaiah’s work includes:

  • Leading with Terleaha a youth-led project called Mounty Yarns- the lived experiences of Aboriginal young people in Mt Druitt;
  • Instigating and leading a community OzTag team – Native Sons;
  • Producing an op-ed with Terleaha;
  • Sharing his story with young men in youth justice centres; and
  • Advocacy around community-led solutions, changing policing practices and raising the age of criminal responsibility.
Terleaha Williams

 

Mt Druitt Youth Engagement Consultant

Terleaha is a proud Kamilaroi and Yuin woman. She is a Just Reinvest Youth Ambassador and a project lead on Mounty Yarns – The lived experiences of Aboriginal young people in Mt Druitt. Terleaha is also assisting and coordinating a community-led OzTag team.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.” – Barack Obama.

“Young people now in Mt Druitt are making change. We are putting as many things in place to help, support and guide change. And we will not stop.”

Youth Ambassadors

Isaiah Sines

 

Isaiah Sines is a proud Dhungatti man from Kempsey and also has ties to the Wiradjuri people. After moving around a lot early in his life he is now settled in Mt Druitt.

“I have experienced a lot in my life and that is why I wanted to become a youth ambassador with Just Reinvest. I hope to be able to use this position to advocate for other Koori kids who are going through what I went through and hopefully prevent the future generations from being affected by the same systems I grew up in. I like the concept behind Just Reinvest and how the organisation understands that Aboriginal people have the solutions to the issues that affect us and that we just need to support communities to heal themselves.”

Some Isaiah’s work includes:

  • Leading with Terleaha a youth-led project called Mounty Yarns- the lived experiences of Aboriginal young people in Mt Druitt;
  • Instigating and leading a community OzTag team – Native Sons;
  • Producing an op-ed with Terleaha;
  • Sharing his story with young men in youth justice centres; and
  • Advocacy around community-led solutions, changing policing practices and raising the age of criminal responsibility.
Terleaha Williams

 

Terleaha is a proud Kamilaroi and Yuin woman. She is a Just Reinvest Youth Ambassador and a project lead on Mounty Yarns – The lived experiences of Aboriginal young people in Mt Druitt. Terleaha is also assisting and coordinating a community-led OzTag team.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.” – Barack Obama.

“Young people now in Mt Druitt are making change. We are putting as many things in place to help, support and guide change. And we will not stop.”

Kobie Duncan

 

Kobie is 23 years old and was born and raised in Maroubra, Sydney. Kobie’s mob is the Yuin Nation from the South coast and Gamilaroi people from Moree. He has been involved with Weave Youth and Community Services through the Kool Kids Club Program since he was in primary school. Kobie believes that justice reinvestment is important to provide both services that guide young people and opportunities for them to reach their goals. As a talented musician, Kobie has written and performed original rap songs, including songs about justice reinvestment and the impact of incarceration on families and communities. In addition to rap, Kobie is a committed and successful boxer and held the NSW Featherweight title. He has presented at conferences and told his story at Change the Record forums, through media and in schools. He is a mentor for children and young people in his community. Kobie has recently signed with Bad Apples Record label.

Trei Stewart

 

Trei is 21 years old and grew up in Nowra and the La Perouse community. He is from the Yuin nation that surrounds Wreck bay on the NSW South coast. Trei had a difficult childhood being removed from his family and separated from his siblings at a young age. He first got involved with Weave Youth and Community Service’s Kool Kids Club program in 2005 when he was 7 years old. Kool Kids Club is a prevention and early intervention initiative providing free after school and holiday activity programs in La Perouse and the surrounding areas. The program supports the development of well being, resilience and life skills for children and young people, fostering protective factors by building on young people’s strengths and enhancing their connections with community and family. The programs are designed to challenge and enhance children’s abilities and life skills. Trei understands first hand the importance of justice reinvestment and knows that without access to programs and support through Weave he may have ended up in the criminal justice system himself. It’s that passion that moved Trei to continue his time at Weave and become a Weave Youth Advocate and mentor.

Trei has been an ambassador for Just Reinvest NSW since the launch at Government House in 2012. He has presented at national and state conferences, spoken with the media, supported young people in school and traveled to Uluru to participate in a leadership course. He believes that justice reinvestment is important to give young Aboriginal people support and positive mentors so they do not go down the wrong path.

Beau Foster

 

Beau Foster is 22 years old originally from the South coast in New South Wales. He was raised in Sydney and his mob is the Yuin nation from the South coast and the Dharawal people from the La Perouse community. He has been involved with Weave Youth and Community Service’s Kool Kids Club program since primary school. He knows first hand the difference it makes to have the support you need growing up in tough circumstances and is passionate about making sure other Aboriginal children and young people have the opportunities he had so they can have the best chance in life. Beau is a great mentor for younger kids in his community and has stepped up on many occasions to speak and perform at conferences, in the media and events to raise awareness of the importance of reducing the rates of incarceration for Aboriginal people.

Beau believes that justice reinvestment is important because it offers young people an alternative to detention and focuses on the positive skills and strengths that they already have. Beau now works at the Kool Kids Club as an Activity worker supporting young people and their families. He remains committed to making positive, sustainable changes to strengthen community capacity and reduce incarceration rates.

Mi-kaisha Masella

 

Dharumbal Murri, Mi-kaisha, has fought for social justice her entire life. The 17 year old’s passion for sharing people’s experiences and stories has driven her to share her own story through music and take a stand. Mi-kaisha believes it is important that young people, and all people, find their voice anduse it to work on issues that affect them and are important to them. Mi-kaisha is President of the United Nation’s empowerment program, Girl Up, at her school. This is a group of young women who advocate for girl’s rights, educate others about the issues affecting girls in developing countries and in local communities in the hope of making positive change.

Mi-kaisha is also Head Girl at International Grammar School, House Captain and actively volunteers for Aboriginal community organisations and children’s charities. She is an inaugural member of the Youth Advisory Group of the Western Sydney Centre for Indigenous Excellence and works after school for AIME. Mi-kaisha uses music to challenge stereotypes, provoke debate and tell stories of strength. “I feel that because I have been equipped with the life tools I need to succeed, a great education and have always had an amazing support system of people backing me, I need to show the world what a young Indigenous person can achieve when given a chance, and a level playing field.”

“The power that lies in our community, hasn’t been recognised by those outside of our world experience. Our people have endured so much and have so much resilience and I think it’s important to show the world that power.”

Temeka Leonard

 

Temeka is 18 years old and was born in Blacktown. She is the second youngest of 5 children but has an enormous extended family that she grew up with. She has spent her whole life in the Mt Druitt area of Sydney but has family connections to both the Wongkumara and Kamilaroi nations.

Through her first 18 years of life she has seen first hand the effects that both the out-of-home-care and criminal justice system have had on her mob. Temeka and her siblings were removed from their parents and placed into multiple foster care homes. They were eventually placed back into the care of their loving mother and father but during her time in care, Temeka went through a lot of tough times and circumstances. She has also spent time in police custody and juvenile detention. Despite all of this, Temeka has come out the other side a real leader.

She is extremely passionate about helping her community and is currently enrolled to study Community Services at TAFE while looking for work in the hospitality industry. She is also looking to be a mentor for some of the younger girls in the Mt Druitt area.

She is excited to be a Youth Ambassador for Just Reinvest as she sees it as a much better way to deal with the problem of overrepresentation of our people. She wonders how different both her life and the lives of many of her family and friends would have been if the money spent on locking her mob up was spent on helping them to break the cycle. She is also very passionate about the expansion of other diversionary programs such as the Youth Koori Court.

Killara Ebsworth

 

Killara Ebsworth was born in Broken Hill and is one of ten, having three sisters and six brothers. Her family is descended from the Wongkamara people of North Western NSW on her fathers side and the Dhungatti people of the Kempsey region on her mothers side. She lived in multiple locations growing up but Western Sydney has been the area she has spent most of her time.

She has had to face a lot of issues in her short life but has come out of it extraordinarily resilient and loving. She is always up for a yarn and a laugh and has the potential to be a leader for young people in the community. She is extremely passionate about the concept of justice reinvestment and wants to see more done to engage the young people in our communities.

Kaleesha Morris

 

Kaleesha Morris is a proud Gumbaynggirr and Kulkalgal woman who was born and raised on her mother’s country in the Clarence Valley by the Northern Rivers of NSW. Kalessha is a Youth Ambassador for Just Reinvest NSW. “I often try to raise special awareness of the tragic Aboriginal suicide rates in Australia,” says Kaleesha, “as well as the increasing incarceration rates of our people, both realities of which are unacceptable in Australia. I am a youth ambassador for Just Reinvest NSW, an organisation which lobbies for various reforms in the criminal justice system and most importantly, stands for reducing Aboriginal incarceration rates and building Aboriginal community empowerment and self-determination.”

Nahdia Noter

 

I grew up in Dalby for my younger years, a beautiful country town located in QLD then moved back to Tweed Heads during my teenage years. I’ve grown up in a system that hasn’t been very favourable towards me, simply because of the colour of my skin. Institutions operate on a deeply entrenched racist system, ultimately this affects us all as we are one race, the human race and we must come together to support one another rather than allow ourselves to be divided.

My dad taught me, “Black, White or Brindle, doesn’t matter what colour you are, when you walk in the street you say Hello to them.” Because of what he taught me, it bothers me so much that hatred of differences, that are actually beautiful, exist. It’s important to me to change the system because of what my family and ancestors have been through, what they have survived. I know what they’ve gone through, I know I’ve carried the Trauma from that. I’m reaching out to places that I can heal myself. I don’t want my daughter to be effected by that, the next generation.

Just Reinvest is a powerful mechanism for change as it is a community of people and organisations who believe that holistic approaches are the only way to make significant generational change through justice reinvestment.

I want other young people to know that there is always hope and there is always people that care. There are solutions, and you can make change, people can work together to make these big problems, not too big to be solved. I want young people to not stop believing in themselves and not compromise on what they inherently know to be right. We all have an inner voice that guides us. Listen to it and trust in it.

The JRNSW Network

Sponsors

We are very grateful to the following sponsors

Aboriginal Affairs NSW
Aboriginal Education Council (NSW) Inc
Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT)
Ashurst
CAGES Foundation
Cambridge Education
Cameron Foundation
Charitable Foundation
Collaboration for Impact
Dusseldorp Forum
Family and Community Services
Gilbert + Tobin
Herbert Smith Freehills
IAG
Kings Wood & Mallesons
Lendlease
Oxfam
Paul Ramsay Foundation
  The Trustee for The Bill & Patricia Ritchie Foundation
St Vincent de Paul Society
University of New South Wales
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
VivCourt

Champions

Our champions help spread the word about justice reinvestment

Mick Gooda

 

Mick Gooda is a descendent of the Gangulu people, and former Commissioner of the Northern Territory Royal Commission into Child Protection and Youth Detention. He is also the former Social Justice Commissioner and a long term Champion of Just Reinvest NSW. “Putting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in detention centres and prisons should be the option of last resort,” says Mr Gooda. “We’d do far better if we put our resources and political will into trying proven alternatives like justice reinvestment. If we’re serious about closing the gap in life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people we have to get serious about tried and tested alternatives like justice reinvestment.” Mick Gooda is the Former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Prof Tom Calma AO
Prof Tom Calma AO, is an elder from the Kungarakan and Iwaidja tribal groups from the south-west Darwin region and the Coburg Peninsula in Northern Territory. He is commonly referred to as the grandfather of justice reinvestment in Australia, first bringing it to the government’s attention when he was Social Justice Commission at the Australian Human Rights Commission from 2004-2010. Prof Calma says justice reinvestment can work if all stakeholders have the will to make it work. “For too many years reports on justice and prison reforms have gathered dust while politicians espouse a tough on crime approach,” says Prof Calma. “International experience is demonstrating that investing in community and individuals through development programs and treating addiction of substances as a health not criminal issue, is having significant positive social and economic outcomes. We can and must trial justice reinvestment in NSW.” Prof Tom Calma AO is a professor at the University of Sydney and Chancellor of the University of Canberra.
Professor Marie Bashir
Professor Marie Bashir is the former Governor of NSW. “Aboriginal young people surely need our help and our support to address the circumstances that lead to prison,” said Professor Bashir. “Communities need more help to support Aboriginal young people. More programs indeed are required that can make a real difference and positively engage Aboriginal young people who may be at risk of offending. Incarceration is not the solution. More community cohesion, more hope and a better future for our valuable young people are required.” Professor Marie Bashir is the Former Governor of NSW.
Salil Shetty
Salil Shetty is the Secretary General of Amnesty International. Mr Shetty believes that the over representation of Indigenous people in Australian prisons is a human rights issue. “As we saw at the UN Universal Periodic Review of Australia, the international community condemned the shameful over representation of Indigenous people in Australia’s criminal justice system,” said Mr Shetty. “What’s happening in Bourke is innovative on a world-scale. Indigenous people there have taken the concept of justice reinvestment and adapted it for their community. A justice reinvestment framework that supports community-driven solutions over the long term will reduce incarceration rates and build stronger, safer communities. This is essential for protecting the human rights of Indigenous people in Australia.”
Bob Debus AM
Bob Debus AM was NSW Attorney-General and the country’s longest-serving environment minister. He was minister for home affairs in the Federal government. “By world standards Australia is indeed a lucky country for a majority of its citizens,” said Mr Debus. “It is therefore especially shocking that the rate of imprisonment for young Aboriginal people is actually getting a lot worse. It’s more than 25 times higher than the rate for non indigenous young people, a situation that no fair -minded person can ignore. We need a campaign to bring this national crisis to the attention of all decent Australians”. Bob Debus AM was named a Member of the Order of Australia for his contributions to legal and environmental reforms, and to the community.
Professor Mick Dodson AM
Professor Mick Dodson AM is a member of the Yawuru peoples, the traditional Aboriginal owners of land and waters in the Broome area of the southern Kimberley region of Western Australia. He is currently Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University. He is a Professor of law at the ANU College of Law. Professor Dodson is also currently a Director of Dodson, Bauman & Associates Pty Ltd – Legal & Anthropological Consultants. Professor Dodson was Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner from 1993 to 1998. Professor Dodson has been an advocate for Indigenous rights, human rights and social justice for the better part of his life. Professor Mick Dodson AM is Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University.
The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG
When the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG retired from the High Court of Australia on 2 February 2009, Michael Kirby was Australia’s longest serving judge. Since his judicial retirement, Michael Kirby was elected President of the Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia from 2009-2010. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Laws of Australia. He has been appointed Honorary Visiting Professor by twelve universities. And he participates regularly in many local and international conferences and meetings. He has been awarded many honorary doctorates. The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG is the former Justice of the High Court of Australia.
Marcia Ella Duncan
Marcia Ella Duncan is a descendant of the Yuin nation. She is the Chair of the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council. Ms Duncan was the first Indigenous scholarship holder at the Australian Institute of Sport and the first Indigenous woman to play international netball for Australia. She has a long history of involvement in Aboriginal affairs in areas such as criminal justice, community development and land management, with a particular passion for family and child well-being. Marcia Ella Duncan is the Chair of the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council.
Jack Manning-Bancroft
Jack Manning-Bancroft is the CEO of Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME). He believes justice reinvestment just makes sense. “I know the talent, potential and value that young Indigenous people have, and if we can support them to build the skills to harness that power in the right way, it will be of huge benefit not only for Indigenous people, but for the nation as a whole,” said Mr Manning-Bancroft.
Professor Chris Cunneen
Professor Chris Cunneen is a Professor of Criminology with the University of Technology Sydney. “We need to ask ourselves, how many more generations of Aboriginal young people will be taken away from their families and communities, locked away in institutions and propelled into life courses of poor education, high unemployment and social dislocation?” said Professor Cunneen. “Justice reinvestment offers us an opportunity to think differently and to act differently in the way we approach crime and marginalisation. Rather than more of the same failed policies, it provides us with a chance to shift resources into community development and rehabilitation strategies with positive outcomes. For too long governments have been prepared to throw money at destructive polices that reproduce criminal offending and fail to reduce recidivism. Do we really want to live in a society where, for example, Aboriginal young men are more likely to be found locked in a prison cell, than sitting in a university class room? Justice reinvestment offers a different path for political and community leaders who are insightful and fearless enough to envision better social outcomes.” Professor Chris Cunneen is a Professor of Criminology with the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology and the Former Chief Investigator with the Australian Justice Reinvestment Project.
Alistair Ferguson
Alistair was the Chairperson of the Bourke Aboriginal Community Working Party for more than 10 years. Justice reinvestment is a core component of the Maranguka initiative. Key to Alistair’s community development is the belief in seeing communities truly empowered and taking responsibility for their own issues and plight.In 2018, Alistair was nominated for the Australia’s Local Hero Award which aims to acknowledge the extraordinary contributions individuals make in their local community. In 2015, in recognition of 20 years of work for his community in Bourke, and in particular for his leadership on the Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project, Alistair received the Aboriginal Justice Award at the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW Justice Awards. Alistair Ferguson is a Director at Orana Haven Rehabilitation Centre and NSW Aboriginal Housing Office Member of the Regional Aboriginal Housing Committee, as well as on the Corrective Services Aboriginal Advisory Council.
Megan Mitchell
Megan Mitchell is the National Children’s Commissioner. She believes justice reinvestment is a tried and tested way of keeping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children out of detention. “It not only improves the lives of young people, their families and helps to create safer communities for everyone, but also delivers a huge economic benefit. By re-directing the money from the justice system and reinvesting it in education and services that deal with the underlying causes of criminal behaviour, we are saving money and building brighter futures for our kids,” says Ms Mitchell. Megan Mitchell is the National Children’s Commissioner.
Robert Tickner AO
Robert Tickner AO is Australia’s longest serving Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and among other things was the Minister who co-ordinated the national response to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. During his time in the portfolio he fought hard for Indigenous rights and wrote about his experiences in his book “Taking a Stand”. Prior to his election to the national parliament Robert worked as a solicitor with the Aboriginal Legal Service in Redfern. After political life Robert was CEO of Australian Red Cross for ten years and acted as the Under Secretary General of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Federation in Geneva. Robert believes that the national government (as well as state and territory governments) has a critical role in justice reform and in supporting justice reinvestment given the failed impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of the current policies.
Shane Phillips
Shane Phillips was born and raised in Redfern, and has cultural connections to the Bunjalung, Wonnarua, and Bidjigal peoples. He is  Chairperson and CEO of the Tribal Warrior Association. He is a respected member of the Redfern Aboriginal community and speaks up on a range of youth issues, juvenile justice and Aboriginal deaths in custody. “The focus of my work and my life is to empower people – whether Indigenous or not – to take responsibility for their lives,” says Mr Phillips. “I believe that providing people with opportunities for training and employment enables them to become self-sufficient, find the best in themselves and contribute to a better life for everyone.” Shane Phillips is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Tribal Warrior Association.
Shane Duffy
Shane Duffy is a descendant of the Kalkadoon people from North West Queensland. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (Qld) and Co-Chair of the Change the Record Campaign. Shane has been committed to social justice for his family and his people from a very young age whilst growing up in Mount Isa. His own life experiences of racism and prejudice that impacted on his daily upbringing have moulded the journey he has taken. Shane joined the public service and worked with juveniles in the court system for ten years. It was this experience which enabled him to understand why his people were becoming so entrenched within the justice system. Shane Duffy is the CEO of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (Qld) & Co-Chair of the Change the Record Campaign.
Eddie Cubillo
Eddie Cubillo is the Executive Officer of the peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services around Australia. His mother is of Larrakia/Wadjigan descent and his father is Central Arrente. Mr Cubillo’s family has experienced the intergenerational effects of the policy of forced removal of children of mixed descent from their family and country. He has a Masters of Laws (International Law and International Relations) from Flinders University and was the former Anti Discrimination Commissioner of the Northern Territory. Mr Cubillo was named the National Indigenous Legal Professional of the year in 2015. Eddie Cubillo is the Executive Officer for the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS)
Assocociate Professor Ted Wilkes
Associate Professor Ted Wilkes is a Nyungar man from Western Australia. He is particularly passionate about supporting young Aboriginal people through their education and in providing effective programs for young Aboriginal offenders to divert them from the criminal justice system. He says in simple terms substantial money has been invested in the correctional system. “It has made no headway in reducing the Aboriginal over-representation in prison,” said Associate Professor Wilkes. “Aboriginal Australians are increasingly filling our prisons and juvenile detention centres at alarmingly disproportionate rates. We need treatment services and rehabilitation services. Not bloody prisons.” Associate Professor Ted Wilkes is with National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University.
Nicholas Cowdery AM QC
Nicholas Cowdery AM QC was the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions from 1994-2011. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law, Visiting Professorial Fellow and member of the NSW Sentencing Council. He is a past president of the International Association of Prosecutors and was inaugural co-chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association. He says it is a privilege to be associated with Just Reinvest NSW. “As a former Director of Public Prosecutions I am all too well aware of the over-representation of Aboriginal youth in the criminal justice system and in juvenile detention,” he said. “Greater attention needs to be given – urgently – to the circumstances that help to create that over-representation and policy and funding must be directed into prevention, early intervention and, if necessary, treatment of youth at risk.” Nicholas Cowdery AM QC is the former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions and a Visiting Professorial Fellow at UNSW.
Dr Naomi Mayers
Dr Naomi Mayers is a Yorta Yorta woman from Cummeragunja on the NSW side of the Murray River. She has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Medical Service for 30 years and received an Order of Australia Medal in 1984. She was lead singer of the music group The Sapphires, on which a popular Australian film of the same name was based. “The youth today are our Aboriginal leaders of tomorrow,” says Dr Mayers. “If we ignore them today with their issues we have no tomorrow.” Dr Naomi Mayers is Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Medical Service.
Tammy Solonec
Tammy Solonec is a Nigena woman from Derby, in the Kimberley of Western Australia. She is the Indigenous Rights Manager with Amnesty International. Ms Solonec believes the current system of ‘justice’ in Australia is hardly just. “Too many of our men, women and children are incarcerated – and many of them simply because of the circumstances of disadvantage and poverty they are born in,” said Ms Solonec. “The impacts of incarceration on individuals, in terms of their psychology, well being and employment prospects are enormous and often interfamilial and intergenerational. The time for change is now. Justice Reinvestment, ‘smart on crime’ and compassionate solution based approaches to justice is the way forward for Australia.” Tammy Solonec is the Indigenous Rights Manager with Amnesty International Australia.
 Phil Naden
Phil Naden is a Wiradjuri man who has been involved with Aboriginal affairs throughout his working career. He is currently Chief Executive Officer of the Bourke Aboriginal Health Service. Mr Naden is a Champion of Just Reinvest NSW because “the concept of investment back into the community is simple and realistic.” “Justice reinvestment gives community members the opportunity to invest in the community by playing a crucial role in assisting Aboriginal young people to not come back into contact with the justice system,” says Mr Naden. “Justice reinvestment also allows Aboriginal communities to solve local problems in a cultural, structured and respectful way. As CEO of an Aboriginal community based organisation, I welcome this new initiative to assist in the reduction of incarceration for our mob.” Phil Naden is the CEO of the Bourke Aboriginal Health Service.
Aunty Mille Ingram
Aunty Mille Ingram was born and raised in Wiradjuri country (Cowra) in central NSW. She was the Chief Executive Officer of Wyanga Aged Care, before retiring. Ms Ingram believes the incarceration rate of Aboriginal youth in Australia is a national disgrace, and an indictment on all of our Australian governments. “STOP the penal attitude and start looking at prevention,” said Ms Ingram. “Poverty should not be a crime. From poverty comes homelessness and substance abuse. This lifestyle can lead to committing minor offence which leads to incarceration which leads to a criminal record. How can something so preventable be so hard to fix? It can be fixed, at a much lesser cost than it is to imprison our young people. Start listening to community. Start funding community based programs focusing on preventive projects and programs that will keep Aboriginal families together with a fine quality of life. Maybe then we will see a reduction in the imprisonment rate of our people. Our target should be a 50% reduction of incarceration of Aboriginal youth by 2020. If the goodwill and funding is provided by governments, it can be achieved.” Aunty Mille Ingram was the Chief Executive Officer of Wyanga Aged Care.
Andrew Morgan Jackomos PSM
Andrew is a proud Yorta Yorta/Gunditjmara man and was appointed between July 2013 – January 2018 as the inaugural Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People in Victoria. He currently holds the position of Special Adviser for Aboriginal Self-Determination in the Department of Premier and Cabinet. Andrew recently completed two landmark inquiries ‘Always was Always will be Koori children’ , a landmark inquiry into the Victorian protection system and interaction with close to 1000 Koori children across Victoria, and ‘In the child’s best interests’ inquiry into the Victorian child protection system’s compliance with the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle.For the previous 14 years Andrew was an Executive Officer in the Victorian Department of Justice and led development of the Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement. During his time at Justice, Andrew is most proud of the relationship developed between the Koori community and the Justice system, as represented by the Aboriginal Justice Forum and the supporting network of Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committees. Andrew is a member of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples and the Victorian Aboriginal Justice Forum and Aboriginal Children’s Forum. In 2006 he was awarded the Public Service Medal and admitted as a Victorian Fellow with the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA). In 2013 he was appointed as an IPAA National Fellow.
Ken Marslew AM
Ken B Marslew AM is the CEO and Founder of Enough is Enough Anti Violence Movement Inc. and a dedicated Victims Advocate. Ken posed the question “What can we do to stop people from becoming victims in the first place?” This led to his work with youth at risk as an early intervention strategy, then on into prisons. The organisation Enough is Enough works with both victims and offenders which gives a unique perspective to the work and the approach to restorative justice. The over representation of Indigenous people as victims and offenders gives cause for concern to the whole of our society.Ken has represented the community on the following panels

 

  • NSW Premiers Council on Crime Prevention
  • Attorney General’s Victims Advisory Board
  • NSW Sentencing Council
  • NSW Corrective Services Restorative Justice Advisory Committee
  • Young Offenders Advisory Council
  • NSW State Parole Authority

Ken B Marslew AM was named as a member of the Order of Australia for his work in social justice.

Teela Reid
Teela is a proud Wiradjuri and Wailwan woman who grew up in Gilgandra western NSW. Teela is passionate about raising awareness of the fact Indigenous incarceration has virtually doubled in
the past 10-15 years, yet Indigenous offending has decreased. “I am especially concerned about the soaring rate at which Indigenous women are incarcerated. Indigenous women are the most rapidly
incarcerated cohort in Australia, accounting for less than 2% of the population and over 30% of the prison population and 34 times more likely to be incarcerated than non- Indigenous women. This is a direct result of poor policy that doesn’t adequately address the complex needs of Indigenous women who are more likely to be victims of violence and suffer greater social and economic disadvantage. Most women are also sentenced to less than 6 months imprisonment which perpetuates the problem, is a greater cost to the community and doesn’t resolve the causes of offending.”

Supporters

Our supporters help quietly in the background

Adam Goodes Alan Cameron AM Chris Sarra
Claerwen Little Garner Clancey Graham West
Jack Thompson Lindon Coombes Peter Stapleton

Vice Regal Patronage

Our vice regal patronage helps to spread the word about justice reinvestment

The Honourable Margaret Beazley

 

Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC is the 39th Governor of New South Wales, commencing her five year tenure on 2 May 2019. Prior to her appointment as Governor, Her Excellency enjoyed a long and distinguished law career spanning 43 years, during which time she served as a role model for women in law at both the State and national level. Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1989, in 1993 she was made a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, the first woman to sit exclusively in that Court. In 1996, she achieved the distinction of being the first woman appointed to the New South Wales Court of Appeal and, subsequently, as the first woman to be appointed as its President. She served, on a number of occasions, as Administrator of the Government of the State of New South Wales. She was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List on 26 January 2020 for “eminent service to the people of New South Wales, particularly through leadership roles in the judiciary, and as a mentor of young women lawyers”. Her Excellency brings her deep commitment to education, youth leadership, human rights and social justice to the role in service of the people of New South Wales.

Mr Dennis Wilson

 

Mr Dennis Wilson is a barrister, mediator, and accredited international arbitrator, whose work generally includes difficult cases in both fact and law, dealing in matters of high value or involving significant principle. He is a long-standing member of the legal profession in Australia and has advised on legislative review and policy development and implementation in environmental law and in the mining and resources sectors. Mr Wilson has a particular interest in the World Trade Organisation, the Energy Charter Treaty, Mining and Oil and Gas law and dispute resolution. Mr Wilson, is an Adjunct Professor of Law, at Notre Dame University, Sydney.

Our members

Our members help shape the strategic direction of our organisation

Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat (NSW)
Aboriginal Education Council (NSW) Inc
Aboriginal Medical Service Cooperative Limited
Amnesty International
ANTaR
Ashurst
Australian Indigenous Alpine Sports Foundation
Australian Red Cross
Community Legal Centres NSW
First Hand Solutions
Gilbert + Tobin
Herbert Smith Freehills
Kingsford Legal Centre
Legal Aid NSW
Lifestyle Solutions
Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies
Oxfam
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Reconciliation NSW
Save the Children
Shopfront Youth Legal Service
Show Me the Way
Uniting Care NSW ACT
Weave
Whitelion
Youth Action
Youth Justice Coalition

Want to get involved?

We are very grateful to the JRNSW network. See our get involved page to learn more about how you can help support justice reinvestment in NSW.

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