Increasing Opportunities for Aboriginal Ex-offenders by Addressing Criminal Record Discrimination

Woor Dungin is an Aboriginal run organisation. It established the Criminal Record Discrimination Project (CRPD) to improve justice and employment outcomes for Aboriginal people with criminal histories. The Project led to new laws being made in Victoria to remove criminal records given to members of the Stolen Generation when they were removed from their families, an apology from the Parliament, and won a national philanthropy prize. Woor Dungin is continuing to pursue further criminal record and anti-discrimination reform through the Aboriginal Justice Agreement framework in Victoria, and has commenced the Aboriginal Ex-Offender Employment (AEOEP) project. The AEOEP will work to provide information and training to Aboriginal ex-offenders applying for employment in order to reduce the impact of criminal history-related stigma and discrimination. It will also aim to educate employers about making fair and appropriate decisions about employing Aboriginal ex-offenders, based on research establishing best practice nationally and internationally in this context. Project partners also plan to develop an information and resource hub linked to a social enterprise employment service to support employers who want to employ Aboriginal ex-offenders, and support and mentor Aboriginal ex-offenders who are seeking employment. Members of the project team will speak about their work with Woor Dungin on these projects and their own experience as Aboriginal people overcoming barriers to employment as a result of past involvement with the justice system.

Stan Winford

Centre for Innovative Justice, RMIT University
Associate Director, Research, Innovation and Reform

Stan is a legal and justice system expert with experience in innovation and reform, including user centred design and applications for restorative and therapeutic justice in criminal and civil law. Stan’s work has included projects to better respond to the needs of victims of crime, improve justice responses to mental health, intellectual disability, acquired brain injury and cognitive impairment, and more effective approaches to reducing future offending. Stan is a practising lawyer who has held a number of senior roles in government and community legal services in both legal practice and legal policy. Between 2007 and 2010, Stan was Senior Legal Advisor to the Honourable Rob Hulls MP, the Attorney-General and Deputy Premier of Victoria. In this role Stan was involved in major changes to Victorian law, as well as the development of solution-focused courts including the Assessment and Referral Court List. Stan previously worked as Principal Lawyer and Legal Projects Officer at Fitzroy Legal Service, where he led law reform campaigns and public interest litigation. He also worked as the Drug Outreach Lawyer at Fitzroy Legal Service and as an advocate for many clients whose contact with the justice system was linked to experiences of homelessness, disability, mental illness, family violence, physical and sexual abuse and substance use disorders. Stan has published on justice issues and appeared in national and international media as a legal commentator. He is Chair of the Mental Health Legal Centre and a Law Handbook contributor.

Bronwyn Naylor

RMIT University
Professor

Bronwyn Naylor graduated from Monash University with honours degrees in Arts and Law. She practised as a solicitor before joining the Law Reform Commission of Victoria, and then taking up a position in the Law Faculty at Monash University. She completed a Master of Laws degree at Monash University, and a Master of Philosophy in Criminology at Cambridge University, UK. She was awarded a PhD from Cambridge University in 1999. Bronwyn is a Director and member of the Editorial Board of the Alternative Law Journal, and Board Member, Victorian Association for the Care & Resettlement of Offenders (VACRO). Bronwyn is a Professor at RMIT University in Melbourne.

Christa Momot

Woor Dungin
Community Development Manager

Christa Momot is a founding member of Woor Dungin. Christa has qualifications in community development, mediation, adult education and workplace training and more than 30 years' experience in community sector management, policy and program development, advocacy, mediation, community development, teaching and mentoring.

Wenzel Carter

Woor Dungin
Aboriginal Cultural Support Officer

Wenzel is a Ngarrindjeri-Wemba Wemba man who works in Woor Dungin's community development team. Wenzel is a member of the CRDP and AEOEP, and a respected community elder involved in the Yawal Mgadjina Cultural mentoring program for Corrections Victoria.

Naomi Murphy

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Services
Client Services Manager

Naomi Murphy is a Murri Woman and the Central Gippsland Client Services manager at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service. Naomi is a member of Woor Dungin's CRDP and AEOEP. She facilitates a women's group, 'Deadly Migais'.