Challenges facing the community of Halls Creek

The Shire of Halls Creek in WA’s East Kimberley region covers 143,000 square kilometres; an area almost the size of Greece. We have one of the largest youth populations in Australia with 51% of East Kimberley’s young people (10-19 years) residing here. This vastness and remoteness, in a contemporary, post-colonisation setting, has given rise to a multitude of issues and left significant proportions of our community vulnerable and disadvantaged.

With current systems in place, there is no sign of things turning around; in fact, the problems may be spiralling out of control. We unequivocally recognise things must change.

For things to change, we need to instil a sense of urgency within our community, take on the responsibility and attack the root cause of the problem. Simply leaving our youth to exist in an environment where violence and abuse is prevalent or accepted as the norm just cannot be the answer.

These complicated issues highlight the need for a collective community-driven, Aboriginal-led approach, supported by (not led by) government agencies, toward creating strong, healthy families and producing safer environments in a smart, economical and culturally appropriate way that benefits all of us. We call this smart justice.