Target 120 Kununurra transitions to Aboriginal leadership Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Community Services Minister Simone McGurk has welcomed the transition of Target 120’s East Kimberley site to being led by an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) as an important milestone for the program.

Target 120 supports young people who are at risk of becoming repeat offenders to steer them away from a lifetime of interacting with the justice system.

After being led by the Department of Communities in 2020, the Target 120 Kununurra program has become the first to be led by a local ACCO.

MG Corporation will continue the program’s work in the East Kimberley region to reduce juvenile reoffending rates and help at-risk young people aged between 10 and 14 years to get their lives back on track.

Target 120’s work to connect at-risk young people with services that meet their individual needs, while also supporting their family members, has already been linked to better outcomes for participants and their families, including fewer contacts with police and improved school attendance rates.

It has also helped to create safer and more connected communities by addressing factors that increase a young person’s likelihood of offending and antisocial behaviour, including substance abuse, family and domestic violence, trauma, mental health issues and poor attendance at school.

The Department of Communities is supporting the transition of the Target 120 program in Kununurra to ACCO control, to prioritise culturally appropriate responses to overrepresentation of Aboriginal young people in the youth justice system.

The State Government has committed more than $20.4 million to the Target 120 program since its launch in 2017.

“Target 120 is a practical program helping young people at risk of further interactions with the justice system to create an alternative path for themselves, and has had encouraging results in its first few years.

“MG Corporation is a well-known Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation in the East Kimberley. It is recognisable for locals and in a good position to provide culturally appropriate responses for at-risk young people and families in the region.

“Supporting Aboriginal outcomes – particularly for young people – will support changes in behaviour that benefit the entire community.

“This is an important milestone for the program, with the State Government working towards transitioning a number of Target 120 programs in other parts of Western Australia to ACCO leadership.” said Minister of Community Services Simone McGurk.

 “In the Kimberley, we know that programs led by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations achieve the best outcomes for Aboriginal young people and families.

“MG Corporation has a good track record in Kununurra and the East Kimberley, and I am pleased that they are leading this important program for the community.” said Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna.

 “It is a great privilege to be the first Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation funded to deliver a program that directly supports local Miriuwung and Gajerrong people.

“This intensive wraparound support program is about building the capacity and self-determination of families, and will now be delivered by traditional owners to traditional owners.

“The cultural component added as an activity will not only strengthen families’ connection to country, but also allow them to embrace themselves freely on country, which will be fundamental to their journey of healing as a family.” said MG Corporation Executive Chair Lawford Benning.