Martu on country to talk about the Criminal Justice System
Participants on the Martu Leadership Program want to reduce the number of Martu going to lock-up. They want to work closely with the police, lawyers, prison staff and the Pilbara Magistrate, so that together they can try to change the lock-up story.
To help everyone on this journey the Martu Leadership Program organised a three day meeting on country to start the conversation. Over 100 people were present for this important meeting that was held deep on Martu country not far from Parnngurr community.
This was the first time that Martu have been able to talk with such a collection of people. The visitors knew that it was their chance to listen and Martu were keen to share their ideas. Everyone was keen to explore new methods within the criminal justice system that would give better outcomes for Martu and their families.
Billy Landy, mentor for the Martu Leadership Program, felt that this was a big moment in time for Martu “We haven’t been able to talk like this before. I feel really proud for my people that we are taking this on. The whitefellas are listening to our story and we see that as a big respect.”
The Martu Leadership Program will now work closely with local police, ALS lawyers, the Magistrate and prison staff on a range of initiatives. The key is seen as everyone working together – Kujungka.
The following quote from the Pilbara Magistrate, Michelle Ridley, sum’s up much of the feedback from all involved: “There is so much opportunity to change what I do and how I do it to improve justice for Martu and it’s exciting to be involved, particularly in implementing their ideas which stand a much greater chance of working than anything I could come up with.”