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Victoria Leads The Way With Koori Children’s Court

25 August 2016

In an Australian first, Attorney-General Martin Pakula today launched a Koori Family Hearing Day for the Family Division of the Broadmeadows Children’s Court.

The program, to be known as Marram-Ngala Ganbu meaning ‘We Are One’ in Woiwurrung language, will operate at the court every Tuesday.

Under the program, Koori children, parents and others will be able to fully participate in proceedings in a way that is respectful of their cultural identity and needs.

The Koori Family Hearing Day will operate as a court list pilot program specifically designed to improve outcomes for Koori children involved in child protection proceedings.

Up to 200 Aboriginal families are expected to have access to Marram-Ngala Ganbu during the 12-month pilot period.

The program will aim to better promote cultural support for Koori children in out-of-home care that both maintains and supports a connection to their Aboriginal community.

Proceedings under the program will be conducted in a less formal manner with all parties seated around the bar table to encourage children to feel more comfortable and less intimidated by the court process.

The establishment of a pilot in the Family Division of the Children’s Court was a recommendation of the 2012 Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry.

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula

“The Koori Family Hearing Day is about making the experience of coming to court culturally safe for Koori children and their families.”

“Victoria is leading the way with this pilot program – it’s a new and innovative way to support children and families involved in child protection proceedings.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children, Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos

“This program provides an environment that will encourage children to feel more comfortable and less intimidated by what can otherwise be a daunting process.”

“It demonstrates a respect for the cultural identity and needs of Koori children, promoting cultural support and recognising the connection to their Aboriginal community.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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