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Pilot Martu Patrol Program Launched

Martu Patrol in action on day one.

A Martu-led mobile outreach program was launched last night (Tuesday 29 June, 21) in Newman offering support for children and young people.

The three-month Martu Patrol pilot is managed by the Newman Women’s Shelter who is training local Indigenous workers to deliver targeted safety initiatives for children and young people.

Arina Aoina, Manager of the Newman Women’s Shelter said the Martu Patrol had been developed through Newman Futures in collaboration with Martu leaders, Newman Women’s Shelter, Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa, WA Police, BHP and the Newman Feedback Group in response to increased youth crime in Newman.

She said, “Our patrol staff will operate evenings from a van driving around the streets of Newman. The team includes members fluent in both Martu Wangka and English. They will build relationships with children and young people and provide support, liaise with family members and, when needed, and supporting children and young people into safe places.”

The Martu Patrol is based on similar projects that have been successfully delivered in Perth, Port Hedland, Tennant Creek, Halls Creek and other locations and have reported significant improvements in community safety and in the wellbeing and education outcomes of young people.

“The safety of children and young people is paramount,” Arina Aoina said. “We are proud to support this pilot program which will be implemented by Newman Women’s Shelter with local Martu and supported by community partners like BHP, Newman Futures, WA Police, the Shire of East Pilbara and Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa.”

Martu Patrol will have one to two Martu staff members and an outreach worker operating from a Shire of East Pilbara bus in the interim during the first three-week assessment period. Then from 9pm until 3am between Wednesday and Saturday from late July until October 2021. Based on the success of and support for this initial pilot, it is hoped that operational hours will be extended and a dedicated vehicle and staff employed during a further 12 month pilot from October 2021 until October 2022.

For information, please contact Newman Futures on info@newmanfutures.com.au or call 08 9284 0910.