Martu and Newman police gather to talk about building better relationships


On 25 April Martu invited Newman police to attend a one day workshop to consider how they might continue to work together towards better relationships and effective strategies for change.

30 Martu including participants from the (Martu Leadership Program) MLP met with five police officers including the OIC of Newman A/Inspector Mark Fleskens. For the past three years, Martu had been working on their commitment to change their relationship to the Criminal Justice System. They have established processes with magistrates, lawyers, police and prisons, with the intention of Martu gaining a better understanding of those systems, and assisting those systems to better understand Martu.

The workshop was structured around a framework which has emerged through the Martu Leadership Program as Martu have understood what it means for them to engage with mainstream agencies to bring about change.

 The framework is broken down into key areas:

  1. Ninti and Palya - Martu want shared knowledge and good will.

  2. Kujunkarrini - Martu want to work in partnership with police and key agencies to bring about change.

  3. Kanyirninpa - Martu know that if change is to occur, then it must be the result of two-way effort – both partners must be contributing at every level.

  4. Yirrawa - KJ, through the experience of the Martu Leadership Program, know that Martu aspiration can only be mediated through Martu ways of seeing the world.  Agencies which have required Martu to conform to whitefella ways of seeing the world have repeatedly failed. Action through a Martu framework.

The workshop provided a platform for police and Martu to participate in the creation of a platform for future relations and sustainable change.

 The most important outcome from this workshop was an agreement to form a group which meets regularly, composed of the right people, and working through this framework to build understanding, address issues, solve problems and progress strategy.