Victoria Backflips on Youth Justice, Sydney Drug Checking Pilot, Yoorrook Updates Part 1, Freedom Flotilla Coalition Sets Sail

Thursday, 11 April 2024 - 7:00am to 8:30am
A boat sails in a bay with a quote overlaid that reads "where our governments fail, we sail" and "we are charting a course to the conscience of humanity, in solidarity with the Palestinian people." The quote is from Karen Devito of the Canadian boat to Gaza.

Acknowledgement of Country//




Sheree Lowe, Executive Director of the Balit Durn Durn Centre at the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), joined us to discuss the Victorian government's failure to act on the urgent need for youth justice system reform scaling back the encroachment of the criminal legal system into the lives of young Aboriginal people. Late last month Attorney General Jaclyn Symes announced a backflip by the government on reverse onus bail reforms, and the concerning introduction of an electronic monitoring system to track children on bail in Victoria. Sheree Lowe is a Djab Wurrung and Gunditjmara woman with a strong connection to South West Victoria, and has lived most her life on Wadawurrung Country in Ballarat. She has been advocating within the Aboriginal Community in Victoria for over 20 years, and previously worked as a management consultant at PWC on projects related to organisational transformation through an Aboriginal lens and cultural safety program design.//


Dr Rebekah Hoffman, General Practitioner at Kirrawee Family Medical Practice in Sydney and NSW/ACT chair of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), spoke with us about the latest Drug Checking Service pilot running out of Kings Cross' Medically Supervised Injecting Centre. This pilot builds on the life-saving history of drug checking service provision at fixed sites and festival pill testing in Australia, demonstrated in the ACT and Queensland. Dr Hoffman discussed how drug checking service provision will work based at a medically supervised injecting centre, and what the pilot seeks to achieve.//


Content note: this interview contains discussion of massacres and systemic harm towards First Nations people. For support, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners can call 13 YARN on 13 92 76 or Yarning Safe'n'Strong on 1800 959 563. Listeners can also contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. 

The Allan government recently issued a widely criticised response to the 45 recommendations from the Yoorrook for Justice report, documenting the findings of the Yoorrook Justice Commission’s inquiry into child protection and the criminal justice system in Victoria. This response follows the government’s announcement of concerning proposed amendments to Victoria’s bail laws, including trials for digital monitoring of minors on bail. We listen to part one of a conversation with Yoorrook Justice Commissioner Travis Lovett who joined Leila to discuss these recent developments and provide the latest updates on this year’s Yoorrook hearings investigating land injustice, which began with on-Country evidence last month.//

James Godfrey, spokesperson for Free Gaza Australia, a member of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, spoke with us about the Coalition's plans to set sail in mid-April to carry 5500 tons of humanitarian aid and hundreds of international human rights observers to Gaza. The Coalition, made up of international civilian groups fighting for freedom and human rights, will challenge the long-standing israeli siege on the Gaza Strip as israel's genocidal onslaught continues into its sixth month. James is a PhD student in the Faculty of Business, Government and Law at University of Canberra. For more than 35 years, he has been active in many campaigning organisations fighting for social justice, locally and internationally, including the Non-Stop Picket of the South African Embassy in London (1986-1989). In recent years, he has focused on justice for the Palestinian people and is a spokesperson for the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, which physically challenges the illegal israeli blockade of Gaza.//