Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Broome Night Space helping community and youth stay safe: Papalia, Winton

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The Hon. Paul Papalia, Minister for Corrective Services (WA), The Hon. Sabine Winton, Minister for Community Services (WA), Joint Media Release, 10 July 2024

Broome’s new Immediate Response Night Space (IRNS) service – also known as Ngurra Buru – has created a safe service to help get young people off the streets and into care after hours.

Funded by the Cook Government, the IRNS program has for two months been offering a culturally secure service led by an Aboriginal organisation to children aged 10-17 for four nights a week from 10pm to 5am.

In addition to connecting young people with a responsible adult, Ngurra Buru – which means Night Space in the traditional Yawuru language – provides a safe physical location, outreach services including a night patrol, meals and next-day family follow-up.

Children are connected with youth support mentors to meet their immediate needs in a trauma-informed way.

In eight weeks since beginning operations, the program had 424 interactions with young people, gave night space access to 157 and provided 355 meals.

Staff have reported multiple successes in supporting young people to re-engage with education.

The $4 million pilot program is being run by the Kullarri Regional Communities Indigenous Corporation (KRCIC) under a grant agreement with the Department of Justice.

It’s part of a collaborative project under the Kimberley Juvenile Justice Strategy involving a partnership of Aboriginal community members and young leaders, the Shire of Broome and Government agencies.

West Kimberley Futures – Empowered Communities (EC-West) is the backbone Aboriginal community organisation for the program.

Comments attributed to Corrective Services Minister Paul Papalia:

“The Night Space program has filled what had been a significant gap in service delivery overnight when only the Western Australia Police Force and Broome Hospital were previously available.

“Before it began, these young people would have stayed on the streets or have spent hours with WA Police while officers tried to locate a responsible and appropriate carer.

“The statistics in these early weeks show a strong need for a service like this in Broome.

“This is a great example of Aboriginal organisations working in partnership with the Cook Government to give young people a safe space to go and steer them away from the criminal justice system.”

Comments attributed to Community Services Minister Sabine Winton:

“Ngurra Buru is providing critical support to young people in Broome, who may be at risk of harm.

“Importantly, the service is supporting young people by connecting them with youth support mentors and local community services. 

“The Cook Government is committed to keeping communities across Western Australia safe, including in the Kimberley.”

Comments attributed to Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna:

“Ngurra Buru is proving to be a valuable addition to our community.

“Instead of wandering the streets and potentially encountering trouble, vulnerable children are being offered food and a safe location while Night Space staff reach out to a responsible relative or carer.

“Follow-up family support is a key element of the pilot which aims to reduce the likelihood of young people continuing to roam the community at night.”  

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