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Emama Nguda Aboriginal Corporation to deliver Target 120 program in Derby to reduce youth offending

Giovanni Torre -

The Western Australian government announced on Thursday that Emama Nguda Aboriginal Corporation will deliver the Target 120 youth offending reduction program in Derby.

Emama Nguda Aboriginal Corporation (ENAC), a not-for-profit Aboriginal community-controlled organisation, has been operating in the Derby community for more than 20 years.

The appointment builds on the early intervention program's success in other locations, where it is helping to "steer young people at risk of offending away from the criminal justice system by connecting them with tailored services and supports".

Those delivering the program work across services and agencies to tackle the factors that can increase a young person's likelihood of offending, which include substance abuse, poor attendance at school, lack of housing, family and domestic violence, trauma and mental health issues.

To date, nearly half of the participants in Target 120 have had no further contact with police since their commencement in the program.

The ENAC appointment in Derby follows the WA government's further investment of $11.7 million to extend the program across all sites until June 2025, taking total investment in the program to more than $43 million.

Kimberley MLA Divina D'Anna said locally-led initiatives are the best way to address these complex issues like youth crime.

"It's really great to see this program continue to expand across the state," she said.

"I look forward to seeing Emama Nguda Aboriginal Corporation working closely with local young people and their families to help make a positive difference to their lives."

WA Community Services Minister Sabine Winton said she was "really pleased" that the government continues "to expand this important early intervention program across Western Australia to support our young people and create safer communities".

"A huge key to the program's success is making sure we appoint the right service providers with good local knowledge and community relationships, like Emama Nguda Aboriginal Corporation, to deliver the program in each location," she said.

"Today's announcement reinforces our Government's commitment to addressing youth crime and social issues in our regions."

Aboriginal justice groups and other reform advocates have long campaigned for locally-led preventative programs to reduce youth offending and keep young people out of custody.

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