The Andrews Labor Government is investing in vital community-controlled services in Shepparton to support Aboriginal people in their interactions with the justice system.
Attorney-General Jill Hennessy visited the Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative in Shepparton today, which is one of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) to share in $14 million in grants.
Rumbalara is a community-controlled organisation that offers a range of health and community services to the Greater Shepparton community.
This state-wide funding will support the continued delivery of the Local Justice Worker Program over four years in metropolitan and regional locations across Victoria, and provides support to ACCOs to deliver local responses tailored to their community.
The investment will enable the Local Justice Worker Program to continue to operate in 19 locations across the state, helping Aboriginal people meet their obligations associated with fines and warrants.
The Labor Government is also investing $400,000 to ensure the continued delivery of the Koori Night Patrol in Shepparton and Mildura.
Along with delivering the Local Justice Worker Program, Rumbalara runs the Koori Night Patrol Program in Shepparton, which provides a safe after hours travel option for the local Aboriginal community.
Rumbalara has been running the Koori Night Patrol Program for 18 years on Friday and Saturday nights, helping to reduce contact with the criminal justice system and prevent people becoming victims of crime.
Through Aboriginal Justice Agreement Phase 4 (Burra Lotjpa Dunguludja), the government and the Aboriginal community are working to address issues of Aboriginal over-representation in the criminal justice system, enhancing access to justice services for Aboriginal people, and improving community safety.
As noted by Attorney-General Jill Hennessy
“We want to empower Aboriginal-led organisations to provide culturally appropriate programs that will lead to better outcomes for the community.”
“I commend the staff and volunteers at Rumbalara for their continued commitment to the local Aboriginal community – because their work is making a real difference to Aboriginal people in Shepparton.”