Act now for Indigenous youth in crisis


What’s happening?

The recent Four Corners program exposed the absolutely abhorrent treatment of children as young as 11 in youth detention in the Northern Territory, where 96% of young people indetention are Aboriginal. The ABC’s Four Corners program aired footage from the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre showing teenage inmates suffering various forms of abuse. Most offenders held in the centre are Aboriginal. Human rights advocates have said the footage, which also shows a guard saying “I’ll pulverise the ****” about one of the youths, clearly shows violations of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention Against Torture.

The situation for young people in detention is getting worse not better, and this is just one of the many big issues facing Indigenous Australia. The revelations in this program have shocked the country but this information is not new.

Oxfam’s efforts

Indigenous organisations and peak bodies have been highlighting the crisis in our justice system for years. Yet they have been ignored and even had cuts to their funding. It is not just the justice system that is broken in Australia; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live everyday with the huge impacts of inequality.

A “shocked and appalled” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced there will be a royal commission into the abuse of youths in the Northern Territory corrections system following the explosive revelations, however, these problems will not be properly resolved until the government fundamentally changes its approach including:

– FIXING THE BROKEN JUSTICE SYSTEM: set targets to reduce soaring incarceration rate
– ADEQUATE RESOURCING: for Indigenous organisations and peak bodies including National Congress and Aboriginal Legal services
– BETTER ENGAGEMENT: Call a summit of Indigenous leaders in the first 100 days of being in office after the election to map out a positive way forward

Supporting Oxfam

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support organisations that encompass similar ideals.

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

How you can help

Please act now and call on Prime Minister Turnbull to act urgently and work with Indigenous organisations to fix this crisis.


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One response to “Act now for Indigenous youth in crisis”

  1. breakthecycleau says :

    This is a great article! I agree that this crisis needs to be addressed and that more equality is needed in the Criminal Justice System. This is a real issue and the way the government is approaching the issue needs to be changed. The rate of Indigenous youth incarceration is continually rising and the unjust treatment of children in detention can have a great impact on their mental and physical health. I believe early intervention strategies such as establishing youth programs for Indigenous children is a great way to help them develop educational and social skills.

    I highly respect and admire the Wishing Well and Oxfam organisation and the way your organisation approaches issues and calls for participation. Break the Cycle is a new campaign that aims to raise awareness on the high incarceration rates of Indigenous youth and attempts to push the government and individuals for funding for youth programs. One of the main things to ensure is that the rights and opinions of the Indigenous communities are understood and that all the programs achieve justice. It would great if you could check us out and support us on our Word Press blog and Facebook page!

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