Aboriginal engagement in Juvenile Justice NSW

Yvonne Weldon, Manager Aboriginal Strategic Coordination Unit (ASCU), Juvenile Justice NSW, Sydney

Juvenile Justice NSW launched the Aboriginal Strategic Plan 2018-2022 (ASP) and Performance Framework in 2018 providing a framework for Aboriginal Engagement.  The ASCU has the responsibility for providing strategic advice across the state as well building collaborative partnerships to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal young people in contact with the criminal justice system. In working with and for Aboriginal young people, their families and communities, Aboriginal culture and practices are fundamental in strengthening identity.

There are a number of Aboriginal programs and supports within JJs and the ASCU will provide an overview of the various initiatives provided or in development, such as; My Journey My Life, Aboriginal Strategic Advisory Committee, Aboriginal Community Consultative Committee and the annual Aboriginal Staff Conference.

Aboriginal people, their Nations, Tribes and Clans are diverse across New South Wales, there cannot be a one size fits all approach and the ASCU will demonstrate the innovative approaches in dealing with diversity and this particular emphasis is a young person centred focus through their Aboriginal identity and ongoing support.

To monitor Aboriginal engagement, the ASP Performance Framework (the framework) has been developed in consultation with stakeholders across Juvenile Justice. Regular reporting via the framework will enable compliance monitoring while also driving continuous improvement.

The framework operates over a six monthly cycle, enabling regular assessment of data and identifying areas of strength and opportunities for further development. Data collected over the life of the ASP will also provide evidence to inform resource allocation and identify gaps in strategy, policy and practice.


Yvonne Weldon is a proud Wiradjuri woman and maintains strong ties to her homelands of Cowra and the Riverina areas in New South Wales. Yvonne has worked in senior positions in Aboriginal policy development, health, human services, child care services, child protection, housing, disability and Aboriginal heritage. Yvonne is a member and Chairperson of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC), board member of Domestic Violence NSW, Redfern Jarjum College, Aboriginal Children’s Service, and NSW Australian Day Council.

She has a passion for health, Aboriginal rights, children’s rights, education, research and evaluation. Yvonne received an award from the Australasian Evaluation Society for her contribution to the Evaluation of the NSW Aboriginal Child and Family Centres and was awarded a Cultural Diversity Scholarship from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.