For the past five years Bourke NSW has been modelling First Nations self-governance, empowering the community to coordinate the right mix and timing of services through an Aboriginal owned and led community hub. Partnering with Just Reinvest NSW, philanthropy, government and community they’ve been implementing the Maranguka Justice Reinvestment project aimed at growing Bourke’s kids up safe, smart and strong.

In this short time this approach is already showing signs of increasing the safety of the community, increasing youth engagement and strengthening families with a special focus on the role of men in the community. Based on the outcomes achieved by the community to date, the Commonwealth and New South Wales governments have recently announced $1.8 million in funding to support the ongoing implementation of the project as part of the Stronger Places, Stronger People initiative.

Mark Coulton the Federal Member for Parkes said, “This is an important project for Bourke, offering a real solution for tackling problems around offending and incarceration. Maranguka Justice Reinvestment creates alternate pathways for local youth and has been hugely positive for this community.”

This partnership with government provides long-term resourcing to underpin the community’s Safe, Smart, Strong strategy to develop a more coordinated response and realignment of service provision in Bourke. It also provides the opportunity for collective, long-term planning.