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Kullarri Regional Communities Indigenous Corporation to lead Broome youth safety pilot program

Callan Morse -

Kullarri Regional Communities Indigenous Corporation has partnered with the Western Australian government's Department of Justice to implement a pilot program to support at-risk youth in the Broome area.

The $4 million pilot program will see the Aboriginal-led service provide an Immediate Response Night Space (IRNS) out of harms way for at-risk youth who are found in public areas at night.

Set to operate from Thursday to Sunday, the program will see staff partner with police to patrol Broome's streets at night, transport at-risk young people to a responsible adult or the IRNS.

In addition to connecting young people with a responsible adult to keep them safe from harm, the program will offer follow-up holistic care, such as family supports, safety planning and encourage participation in education.

Notably, the IRNS has been designed by a committee of local Aboriginal community members and empowered young leaders led by West Kimberley Futures – Empowered Communities.

Kimberley MLA and proud Yawuru, Nimanburr and Bardi woman, Divina D'Anna, said the Night Space pilot will be of great benefit to the Broome community.

"KRCIC has a strong history supporting Broome residents and this Immediate Response Safe Space will build on the incredible work already being done to support youth in the region," Ms D'Anna said.

"Kullarri Regional Communities Indigenous Corporation will provide emergency triaging and support services to young people present on Broome streets at night."

The two-year IRNS pilot program is part of the Western Australian Government's $11.8 million commitment to Kimberley Juvenile Justice Strategy (KJJS) initiatives.

WA Corrective Services Minister, Paul Papalia, said the KJJS initiative aims to fill a gap in government and community efforts to ensure the safety of young people in Broome by keeping them off the streets at night.

"Night Space will provide a safe location for WA Police and the local community to respond to children who are found wandering the street at night," Mr Papalia said.

"By addressing the drivers that contribute to the risk of young people engaging in criminal and anti-social behaviours, we can deliver better outcomes for them, improve community safety and reduce pressure on officers.

"The coordinated approach involving local people who know the community will provide immediate assistance, as well as ongoing supports, to young people who currently can't always find a safe place to be."

The partnership between KRCIC and the Department of Justice puts into practice shared decision-making principles outlined in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

Acting Community Services Minister, Simone McGurk says keeping young people safe is a priory of the state government.

"This $4 million investment will help keep at-risk youth safer, while providing them with access to food, shelter and support from a local service provider," Ms McGurk said.

"By providing a safe location for young people at night, it will be easier to divert at-risk youth from anti-social behaviour and engage them with other wraparound services which aim to improve their future outcomes."

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