Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 9 May 2017
Parliamentary Record 5
Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020
pp 1623 to 1686
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Tuesday 9 May 2017 1655 reduce the rate of recidivism. It is vital prisoners are provided opportunities to participate not only in therapeutic programs, but also to gain education and practical employment and training programs. I recently attended the Darwin Correctional Centre for graduation ceremonies for a number of prisoners who had participated in education and training. They are incarcerated, and they understand the consequences of their behaviour, but we are providing them with rehabilitation and education. We have a unique prison population and many of the programs have been designed in consultation with elders and non-government organisations, or have been adapted to suit the prison population. We are committed to ensuring best-practice programs are delivered, which is why we are reviewing all existing programs. As we know, the Northern Territory has the highest rate of Indigenous incarceration in Australia. While our government is committed to finding ways to address this overrepresentation, we must also acknowledge our unique prisoner cohort. Two of the most important educational services corrections provides are literacy and numeracy courses, which are co-designed with elders. The Elders Visiting Program, which keeps male and female prisoners from a range of regions in contact with their communities, also provides for cultural support and guidance to assist with prisoners during their time in incarceration, and reintegrating them back into community. It also provides for review of those education programs. Currently prisoners are able to enrol in a course known as QuickSmart, to establish and build on their literacy abilities. This course is a precursor to other vocational training opportunities. We are assessing the programs that we offer to make sure we demonstrate the delivery methods reflect best practice and ensure they successfully meet the prisoners needs. Education is for everyone, whether it is in the early years or later in life. People are lifelong learners, and they deserve the opportunity to improve their personal education and seek further training. Mr KIRBY: A point of order, Madam Speaker! Pursuant to Standing Order 43 I seek an extension of time for the member. Motion agreed to. Ms FYLES: Education and gaining lifelong learning skills are important. With the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice there are professional development programs and traineeship programs, such as the Solicitor for the NT Graduate Development Program, the Indigenous Cadetship Support program, the Northern Territory Government traineeship program, the Indigenous Employment Program and the Vacation Employment Program. I think we have all come across people in our communities who are involved in that last one, which provides them with the opportunity to access employment and gain valuable practical skills during their university holidays. The work integrates learning scholarships, university practicals, work experience and disability employment, which I am passionate about. People in our community with a disability still have a vital role to play. You only have to visit Tony Burns team at HPA to see the benefits and the skills used there. They have quite a few programs there of products they provide. I am driving disability employment within government to make sure we have all members of our community working in government. The Special Measures plan, correctional officer recruitment programs and Probation and Parole Officers recruitment campaignthere are many programs with the opportunity to offer our public service to access ongoing education and training to ensure we grow and retain our workforce. I will take a moment to talk about what is happening in my electorate of Nightcliff. I have a number of schools in my electorate. I was very pleased to have the Minister for Education at the fabulous Nightcliff Middle School a couple of weeks ago. I am very proudmy parents taught at the then Nightcliff High School in the 1970s. As I move around the electorate I still run into families whose children my parents taught. I question some of the school camp practices back then, but I am sure the Minister for Education has looked into things.
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