Maranguka Justice Reinvestment
Bourke is a remote town located 800km northwest of Sydney, situated on the Darling River. The town’s location forms part of a traditional boundary area for the Ngemba, Murrawarri, Budgiti and Barkinji Tribal Groups. As a result of past government Aboriginal specific policies such as forced relocations and removals in the 1920s, today there are 21 different Tribal Groups living in Bourke. There are 2,465 people living in the Bourke Shire of which 762 people are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (approximately 30.9%). The median age of Bourke’s Indigenous population is 25 years, approximately 33.7% of which are children aged 0 to 14 years and 4.7% are aged 65 years or over.
The Maranguka Justice Reinvestment project emerged as Bourke was concerned about the number of Aboriginal families experiencing high levels of social disadvantage and rising crime. Bourke has worked for many years to develop a model for improving outcomes and creating better-coordinated support for vulnerable families and children through the true empowerment of the local Aboriginal community. Maranguka, meaning ‘caring for others’ in Ngemba language, is a model of Indigenous self-governance which empowers community to coordinate the right mix and timing of services through an Aboriginal community-owned and led, multi-disciplinary team working in partnership with relevant government and non-government agencies.