Opening up the justice system

Magistrate Butler keen to send anybody ‘one way’. 

Magistrate Butler keen to send anybody ‘one way’. 

Understanding how Martu can be more effective in the justice system has been a big part of the story for the Leadership Program participants this year. The group are taking on the challenge to learn about the different parts of the justice system and how they work.
Recently a large group of men travelled to Perth to work with organisations like the Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) and the WA Police. At each of these meetings the aim was to gain a clearer understanding of how these organisations work, what their role is and how Martu can interact more successfully with them.  It proved to be a great two-way learning experience. The ALS lawyers were keen to hear from the group on areas that they could help with beyond what they already do for Martu in the courtroom.

The WA Police took the group deep into the Joondalup Police academy to show them what the new recruits go through in order to become police officers.  Not many leadership participants were keen to take up the offer of becoming police officers but it was seen as the start of a good two way conversation between Martu and Police.  One of the senior police officers described the visit as a “career highlight”.

A funny, yet serious addition to the week was running a mock court exercise in the training court room at the University of WA.  Here we swapped it all around as the group got to play the role of magistrate, defendant, prosecutor and referee. Former judge Julienne Penny and Alice Barter from (ALS) were there to help guide us in the court process. Ngangkari, Huber and Nick were the accused and the guys were pretty ruthless in wanting to send them “one way”.

Everybody agreed that this mock court session was a great exercise

Everybody agreed that this mock court session was a great exercise