Northern Territory Aboriginal Justice Agreement (NTAJA)

Leanne Liddle

Attorney General's Department
Director, Aboriginal Justice Unit

Leanne is an Arrernte woman born and raised in Alice Springs. Leanne has academic qualifications in Environmental Science, Law and Management, but she believes her most important knowledge came from her grandmother and great-grandmother who taught her traditional land management skills, particularly in the use of fire.

Leanne has served other senior public service roles, including as the manager of Food Security for Aboriginal communities in South Australia, and the manager of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) and West Coast regions of South Australia within the Department for Premier and Cabinet. She was also the first Aboriginal policewoman in South Australia where she worked for 11 years as a Senior Constable in remote and city police stations. Leanne also worked on the international circuit; for the United Nations with stints in Geneva, New York and Paris with UNESCO, and as a Director for Bush Heritage Australia. She has published many scientific papers. Since returning to Darwin, Leanne has worked as the Senior Policy Advisor for the Northern Land Council and the Principal Legal Policy Officer in the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice. She currently remains there, as the Director within the Aboriginal Justice Unit who with her small team have the responsibility to deliver and implement the first Northern Territory’s Aboriginal Justice Agreement.

Whilst the Northern Territory has the highest population of Aboriginal people in the nation we also have one of the highest rates of imprisonment and recidivism rates for Aboriginal people.
To address this, the NT Government in partnership with the Aboriginal Territorians are developing an Aboriginal Justice Agreement that has three aims:
• reduce reoffending and imprisonment rates of Aboriginal Territorians
• engage and support Aboriginal leadership
• improve justice response and services to Aboriginal Territorians.

This presentation will focus on some of the processes engaged to collect the content for the Aboriginal Justice Agreement, we will highlight some of the preliminary content, as well as outlining the complimentary projects that align with the Aboriginal Justice Agreement that includes alternatives to custody and more.