Feasibility Study – Residential Program for Aboriginal Women
The CIJ has embarked on an exciting new collaboration with Djirra and Price Waterhouse Cooper’s Indigenous Consulting to develop a model and plan for implementation for a residential program for Aboriginal women in Victoria.
The “Aboriginal Women’s Residential Program Feasibility Study” has been commissioned by the Victorian Government’s Koori Justice Unit and Djirra is the lead agency. This project is an exciting step closer to a much-needed and discussed program, one of the goals of the current Aboriginal Justice Agreement Burra Lotjpa Dunguludja (“Senior Leaders Talking Strong”).
The project is a leading example of ethical research with Aboriginal people, respecting and enacting Aboriginal sovereignty and modelling culturally appropriate ways of engaging with Aboriginal participants and stakeholders. Core to the research process proposed is engaging Aboriginal participants in yarning circles where women will be able to draw on their lived experience and knowledge to assess program models presented to them – positioning women with lived experience of the criminal justice system as experts, rather than subjects.
The research methodology is attuned to resilience, rather than ‘deficit models’, or invasive lines of questioning about trauma and criminalisation. This means that the research partners will enact a strengths-based approach, seeking input from Aboriginal organisations, communities and individual participants which draws on their expertise, strength and lived experience as experts in the design of solutions, not as subjects of research. The project will report to government in the first half of 2021.
Elena Campbell is leading the CIJ team for this project, supported by Tallace Bissett, Riley Ellard and Jasmine Ali.