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Julie Williams

I am a single mother of 5 children, and I have 11 grandchildren, I am a proud Gamilaroi women born in Western Sydney. I have grown up in Mt Druitt and lived here all my life. I started working as the Community Engagement Officer for Just Reinvest NSW in September 2020. I have been fortunate enough to be raised all my life strong in identity, community and culture, through both my mother and father’s family. I am passionate about working within my community, I have a strong understanding of issues Aboriginal Families face dealing with the criminal justice system, as I myself have faced these issues and still dealing with them today.

My role now will be working with community members to explore if a Justice Reinvestment approach would work in Mt Druitt and try to create change, especially with a focus on the criminal justice system and the forces that pull our young people in. I strongly believe if early intervention and better supports were in place, a lot of us would not be struggling and dealing with systems, especially the criminal justice system as we do today.

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.