Aboriginal Visitors

Aboriginal Visitors assist the families of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners to visit their family members in custody.

The Department of Justice recognises the importance of maintaining the prisoner’s family relationships and links with their community.

Elders program

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The Elders program works together with Noongar Elders to help prisoners and young people while they are in custody and when they make the transition into the community upon release.

The program is currently being rolled out with Elders talking to prisoners about:

  • Traditional values, such as respecting cultural ways, sharing, and maintaining family and family relationships.
  • Help the prisoners with through-care post-release by connecting them to Aboriginal community centres.
  • Counselling to help deal with issues such as drugs and alcohol or family relationships and in others they can get training to increase the likelihood of getting a job.
  • Build up a person's self-esteem, credibility and integrity and help that person to be a better role-model for their family.
  • Elders can participate in his or her own way, which might be painting, dancing, and singing, yarning or cooking kangaroo sausages over a camp fire.

Aboriginal Visitors Scheme

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The Aboriginal Visitors Scheme provides support and counselling for Aboriginal detainees and prisoners in prisons, juvenile detention centres and police lock-ups throughout WA.

Visitors are Aboriginal people committed to assisting and supporting detainees and prisoners in their local areas. They are employed on a casual, rostered basis but are available at all times to help those in custody.

The aim of the Aboriginal Visitors Scheme is to ensure:

  • Means are provided for reducing the likelihood of deaths and/or self-harm.
  • Conditions of those in custody improve through consultation, advice and information to decision-makers.
  • Aboriginal community groups are properly informed on conditions of custody.

For more information contact:

Suite 21 Piccadilly Square
7 Aberdeen Street
PERTH WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 9220 9400
Fax: (08) 9218 9829
Freecall: 1800 282 429
Or visit Aboriginal Visitors Scheme

In addition, the following services are accessible for Aboriginal communities:

Aboriginal Legal Service of WA
7 Aberdeen Street
East Perth WA 6004
Telephone: (08) 9265 6666
Fax: (08) 9221 1767
Freecall: 1800 019 900
Or visit Aboriginal Legal Service of WA (opens in new window)

Victim Services
District Court Building
Level 2, 500 Hay Street
PERTH WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 9425 2850
Fax: (08) 9221 2533
Freecall: 1800 818 988
Or visit Victim Services

Child Witness Service
District Court Building
Level 2, 500 Hay Street
PERTH WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 9425 2850
Fax: (08) 9221 2533
Freecall: 1800 818 988
Or visit Child Witness Service

Aboriginal services

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The Aboriginal Benchbook for Western Australian Courts contains information for the judiciary to alert them to cross-cultural issues which may arise in the conduct of court proceedings involving aboriginal people. The Benchbook is also a useful resource for any person involved in such proceedings.

The Benchbook was written by Ms Stephanie Fryer-Smith and published by the Australasian Institute for Judicial Management (AIJA).

The Aboriginal Benchbook for Western Australian Courts (PDF)

Aboriginal Alternative Dispute Resolution Services

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Aboriginal Alternative Dispute Resolution Services aims to reduce the incidence of Aboriginal people's involvement with the criminal justice system by providing an effective and culturally appropriate form of dispute resolution.

Aboriginal Alternative Dispute Resolution Services include addressing complex and sometimes chronic inter and intra-family feuding affecting Aboriginal people.

Level 5
28 Barrack Street
PERTH WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 9264 6150
Freecall: 1800 045 577
Further information on Aboriginal Services

Page reviewed 18 August 2020