WA Police’s Aboriginal Affairs Division to host community forums in Mirrabooka, Midland and Kelmscott

L-R: Acting Superintendent Mark Ninyett, Corelee Heesemans (Project Manager, Aboriginal Affairs Division) and Acting Inspector Geoff Regan, seen here at Midland Junction Arts Centre, which is the location for the Midland sessions. Photo: Dave Baylis
L-R: Acting Superintendent Mark Ninyett, Corelee Heesemans (Project Manager, Aboriginal Affairs Division) and Acting Inspector Geoff Regan, seen here at Midland Junction Arts Centre, which is the location for the Midland sessions. Photo: Dave Baylis

WA Police’s Aboriginal Affairs Division is aiming to seek a “united future” between police and Aboriginal communities starting with community forums.

The forums will be held in Mirrabooka, Midland and Kelmscott this month, as part of the creation of a shared strategic pathway and a reconciliation action plan.

This comes after Commissioner Chris Dawson apologised to Indigenous people for the wrongful actions and mistreatment by police officers in July 2018.

Noongar man and Aboriginal Affairs Division Acting Superintendent Mark Ninyett said the division was planning 38 forums across WA between December 2018 and April 2019, in a bid to better understand the “collective voice” of Aboriginal communities.

“We have learnt effective services and programs must be designed, developed and delivered in partnership with Aboriginal people and this requires a strong placed-based approach,” he said.

“We will discuss solutions to enhance relationships, reduce over representation and consider a way forward to support community-led partnerships with police to deliver safer and secure communities.

“We can only do this by acknowledging the difference in priorities and challenges that exist in different communities across urban, regional and remote areas.”

Supt Ninyett said a police and Aboriginal people have a shared past and police were seeking a “united future”.

“To move forward, we must build strong relationships based on trust and respect, free of racism and allow for the integration of ‘self-determination’ for Aboriginal people into our practices and strategic pathways,” he said.

THE ESSENTIALS

Mirrabooka

Where: Herb Graham Recreation Centre, 38 Ashbury Crescent, Mirrabooka

When: December 17, from 9.30am to 12.30pm

Midland

Where: Midland Junction Arts Centre, 276 Great Eastern Highway, Midland

When: December 18, from 9.30am to 12.30pm

Kelmscott

Where: Frye Park Pavilion, Clifton Street, Kelmscott

When: December 19, from 9.30am to 12.30pm

For information, email Aboriginal.Affairs.Division@police.wa.gov.au