Bourke – A beacon of hope

Maranguka Justice Reinvestment recently launched a report by KPMG that shows community led changes in Bourke generated $3 million of savings in 2017 by reducing violence, increasing school retention and reducing offences. This is five times greater than the operational costs for 2017 and the report states that if just half of these results were sustained an additional $7million over the next five years could be realised. Bourke is a model of hope to other communities across Australia.

The results achieved for 2017 show an improvement in family strength with a 23% reduction in police recorded incidence of domestic violence and comparable drops in rates of reoffending. It shows youth development improvements with 31% increase in year 12 student retention rates and a 38% reduction in charges across the top five juvenile offence categories.

Maranguka, meaning ‘caring for others’ in Ngemba language, is a model of Indigenous self-governance which empowers the community of Bourke, NSW to coordinate the right mix and timing of services through an Aboriginal community owned and led, multi-disciplinary team working in partnership with relevant government and non-government agencies.

Maranguka and Just Reinvest NSW partnered in 2012 to develop a Justice Reinvestment ‘proof of concept’ in Bourke. Justice Reinvestment is a datadriven approach to improve public safety and reduce criminal justice spending.

Dusseldorp Forum has been partnering with Maranguka Justice Reinvestment since 2014.

The Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project adopts a collective impact framework that changes the way government, NGOs and community members provide services to the community. Working groups bring everyone together to deliver the community-developed strategy to grow Bourke’s kids up safe, smart and strong.

Maranguka is directed and guided by the aspirations and wishes of the Bourke Tribal Council who advocate on behalf of the Bourke Aboriginal community. Through a backbone team Maranguka complements existing services, providing better pathways and facilitated assistance for the community