The Territory Labor Government is creating safer communities by reforming the Youth Justice system and investing in smart, evidence-based action.
Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield today announced an investment of $455,000 for a facilities upgrade at the Mt Theo Outstation, which is operated by the Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation (WYDAC).
The funds will allow WYDAC to upgrade their Mt Theo Outstation infrastructure so that they can continue their youth diversion program for at-risk young Warlpiri people, on country.
Since 1993 Mt Theo Outstation has taken in over 500 young Aboriginal people from over 14 different communities, including Alice Springs.
The Mt Theo Outstation program includes:
Taking young at-risk young people to the remote Mt Theo Outstation to provide professional case management and rehabilitation on country
Providing at-risk young people with a stable, supportive and positive environment to re-engage them with culture, health, education and family relationships
Directing care and education by Warlpiri Elders
Aftercare transition to other WYDAC services
As stated by Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield
Every Territorian has the right to feel safe and expect their homes, businesses and property to be secure. We need to get young people on the right path and away from the cycle of crime, and to become productive members of our community not life-long criminals.
This is why we are investing in the Mt Theo facility to enable WYDAC to continue their successful program.
The Mt Theo Outstation program delivers positive pathways for at-risk young Warlpiri people by steering them away or exiting the Youth Justice system, through reconnecting them with their kinship networks, culture, and land.
On top of this funding for the Mt Theo Outstation infrastructure upgrade, we are also investing a record $18.2 million annually into youth diversion and alternatives to detention. This is doubling the amount under the previous CLP Government.
As stated by WYDAC Chief Executive Officer Matt Davidson
We’re thrilled to have received this Territory Government funding, which has allowed us to refurbish our Mt Theo rehab centre and also upgrade power and water to the facility.
Mt Theo is such an important centre for Warlpiri people. It’s a place of healing and cultural renewal, and for the past 25 years has helped keep our young people out of mainstream juvenile justice facilities.
Young people are referred to Mt Theo from the three Warlpiri communities of Willowra, Nyrripi and Yuendumu, and hopefully next year from Lajamanu as well.