Help for African youth

African Australian Union chairman Aaron ND Sawmadal, Josephine Doe, Isatu Fornah, facilitator Graeme Sellars and Guen Jam. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d413278
African Australian Union chairman Aaron ND Sawmadal, Josephine Doe, Isatu Fornah, facilitator Graeme Sellars and Guen Jam. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d413278

Called Justice Reinvestment, the project ran between Saturday, August 3, and Saturday, December 28.

AAU chairman Aaron ND Sawmadal said young African-Australians would be part of this country’s future and it was important all became well-rounded Australian citizens and that they did not spend time in prison.

Mr Sawmadal said that during the project people from different lifestyles were brought together and discussions were held as to why young migrants may offend.

The director of policy and Aboriginal services at the Department of the Attorney-General, Bob Taddeo, presented a keynote speech at the end of the project and emphasised that a person did not commit a crime based on ethnicity.

‘Crime exists in relation to the circumstances that surround the way an individual or a community lives. It is this difference that is often ignored and which leads people to confuse those circumstances with ethnicity,’ Mr Taddeo said.

He also talked about how the settlement of new arrivals in WA was always challenging because with migration came issues, including housing, jobs, education, training and health.

Mr Sawmadal also presented a speech at the project’s conclusion and explained how the AAU was going to help rehabilitate offenders.

‘What is important here is the AAU has established a framework to ensure those youth we get in touch with do not go back to prison again, by drawing them into other activities, such as skills training, sports and recreation.’