This page in your language
The Expert Working Group
South Sudanese Australian young people are over-represented in the Victorian youth justice system. In 2022, an Expert Working Group is being established to address this. It will work to provide young people with pathways to living better lives as part of the Victorian community.
The Expert Working Group is part of the Youth Justice Strategic Plan
Victoria has a vision to develop a leading youth justice system that:
- reduces offending by children and young people and improves community safety
- works with others to provide genuine opportunities for children and young people to turn their lives around.
The Youth Justice Strategic Plan 2020-30 is the roadmap to achieve this vision. The plan has a focus on supporting young people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups.
This Expert Working Group will work in close partnership with the South Sudanese Australian community to find ways to:
- prevent young people in their community from entering the youth justice system
- divert young people from progressing further into the youth justice system
- address underlying causes for offending among young people.
How the Expert Working Group will work
Dr Santino Deng has been appointed as Chair to lead the Expert Working Group. Under Dr Deng’s leadership the Expert Working Group will strive to build trust and strong relationships with the South Sudanese Australian Community.
Dr Deng is a member of the South Sudanese Australian community and has significant experience with academia, education and community development and engagement. Dr Deng holds, amongst other qualifications, a Ph.D in Social Sciences (Psychology/Counselling, Education and Sociology) from Victoria University. Dr Deng has had several articles published that examine issues relevant to the experiences of the South Sudanese Australian community and the planned activities of the Expert Working Group.
Partnering with the community
The Expert Working Group will engage with:
- community organisations
- religious and local networks
- parents and carers
- young people with lived experience.
Investing in effective services
The Expert Working Group will provide targeted investment to the service sector. This will build the sector’s capacity to provide programs and support to young people.
Working directly with young people and their families
The Expert Working Group will hear from young people and their families about what works for them.
The Expert Working Group will put in place action plans to meet young people’s needs. They will monitor progress, as well as overall improvements in how the youth justice system works.
Get involved with the Expert Working Group
The Expert Working Group will start in 2022 and will operate until 30 June 2025.
Community engagement activities will start later this year.
If you would like to register to be involved with the Expert Working Group, please send an email to SSAyouthjusticeEWG@justice.vic.gov.au (External link) and simply include:
- your name
- your email
- confirmation that you would like to be invited to the community engagement activities later this year.
The Secretariat of the Expert Working Group can be contacted by email at: SSAyouthjusticeEWG@justice.vic.gov.au (External link).