UWS Elders on Campus provides input into new courts

The University of Western Sydney's Elders on Campus have been chosen to provide input into the trial of a new 'Koori Court' designed to help break the cycle of crime and keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth out of jail.

The NSW Government has announced the trial of a dedicated court for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders at Parramatta Children's Court.

The year-long trial will seek input from Western Sydney Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders in criminal proceedings and allow offenders to help develop a plan to prevent repeat unlawful behaviour, with detention considered a last resort.

As part of the development of the new government initiative, UWS was sought to provide insights gained from its innovative Elders on Campus program.

The Elders on Campus program links the University to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and is comprised of highly respected community Elders who are on-hand to advise and guide the UWS Community. 

Importantly, Elders on Campus provides role models and mentors for cadets, trainees and staff and an avenue for community input into University governance.

The Director of Office of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Employment & Engagement is Melissa Williams.

"Through the Elders on Campus program, UWS is taking a leading role in providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workplace Relations," says Ms Williams.

"We are glad to join other Elders within the community and be of assistance to the Parramatta Children's Court with this essential new trial."

The twelve-month trial will start in January 2015 and may be rolled out to other locations.

To read more about this new initiative please visit ABC News.


14 November 2014

Mark Smith, Senior Media Officer

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