Community Safety

We seek to ensure that Indigenous Australians grow up and live their lives in a safe home and community.

Indigenous Australians are significantly more likely to experience child abuse and neglect, domestic and other forms of violent crime and be incarcerated than non-Indigenous Australians.

One of the Australian Government’s three priority areas in Indigenous affairs is ensuring communities are safe.

We provide funding for a variety of targeted evidence-based activities to reduce violence and make communities safer.

Under the Government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy’s Safety and Wellbeing Programme, we focus our efforts on five key outcome areas:

  • Reduced substance misuse and harm
  • Crime prevention, diversion and rehabilitation
  • Violence reduction and victim support
  • Safe and functional environments
  • Social and emotional wellbeing

We work closely with the state and territory governments—who are responsible for the criminal justice system in Australia—on justice system responses to improving Indigenous community safety. This includes supporting initiatives such as policing in remote locations.

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Reduced substance misuse and harm

A major driver of poor safety in Indigenous communities is alcohol and other drug misuse.

We fund alcohol and drug treatment providers to provide services for Indigenous Australians to help overcome this problem.

This includes culturally appropriate prevention and intervention activities to reduce demand and supply of alcohol and other substances.

We also support efforts to reduce petrol sniffing. To do this we fund prevention and diversion services and help increase the supply of low aromatic unleaded fuel.

Crime prevention, diversion and rehabilitation

Indigenous Australians have a significantly higher rate of incarceration and offending than other Australians.

We fund services that aim to address the underlying causes of criminal behaviour to prevent crime, recidivism and divert Indigenous Australians away from the criminal justice system.

This includes interventions for Indigenous people at high risk of engaging in illegal behaviour. These interventions include intensive case management services to help prisoners transition successfully back into their communities and avoid reoffending.

Violence reduction and victim support

Indigenous Australians are much more likely to be victims of violence, including domestic violence, than other Australians.

We fund services to help ensure that Indigenous victims of violence are given the support they need to recover and lead safe lives.

These services include trauma and crisis counselling, community education and family violence prevention legal services.

Safe and functional environment

To ensure Indigenous Australians are safe, and feel safe, in their communities we fund services such as community night patrols.

The night patrols employ Indigenous people to patrol their local communities and assist people at risk, including those who are intoxicated, juveniles and victims of violence.

Social and emotional wellbeing

We seek to improve and promote social and emotional wellbeing in Indigenous communities. The activities we fund address trauma and strengthen connections to communities and families.

Contact Us

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
PO Box 6500
Canberra ACT 2600
Australia

Phone: 02 6271 5111

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images and voices of deceased people.