Welcome to the AYJA Spotlight Series!!

About the AYJA Spotlight Series 

Inspired by the world famous Tedx Talks and committed to celebrating excellence, AYJA is proud to introduce our new AYJA Spotlight Series.  This initiative provides a platform and repository for video stories and content about the work being done across Australia, New Zealand and beyond, to make a difference for young people who offend, and their families, victims, and communities.

In the lead-up to the 4th Australasian Youth Justice Conference 2021, AYJA jurisdictions shared a number presentations showcasing innovations, initiatives, programs, and activities from across the Australian states and territories and New Zealand.  

There are currently seven videos available.  AYJA intends to continue this initiative into the future.



Sunset Warrior (Youth Justice NZW)

‘Sunset Warrior’ is an early intervention program established by Youth Justice NSW and lead by Jason Phillips, an Aboriginal Practice Officer. The 10-module program focuses on taking young people out on country in Bourke, where they feel safe to break down the barriers between them and services in the community. Depending on the offences of the young people, Jason and the team invite relevant community supports along to the program. As you will see in this video, PCYC and Maranguka Community Hub were invited to join the program as the young people had already been in contact with these providers for various reasons. The program aims to stop the stigma of using services in the community, as well as instilling the real meaning of what a modern day warrior is.

Expressing Themselves: Creating Poetry in New Zealand Youth Justice Residences (Youth Justice NZ)

In January 2020, poet Ben Brown ran a four-day poetry workshop for young people and staff at Te Puna Wai o Tūhinapō youth justice residence in Christchurch, New Zealand. Poems produced by the boys were published in an anthology How did I get here?

Ben returned to Te Puna Wai in January for a 2021 edition of his workshop. This video shares the experience and provides insights from Ben and staff at the residence about the impact and importance of amplifying the voices of young people.

Youth Week: Interviews from Young People in Custody (NSW)

The role of the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People is to represent the voice of all children and young people in NSW. Children and young people in Youth Justice Centres have a right to be heard, like all children in New South Wales. Their voices need to be elevated, and we need to listen to their truth and do better. ACYP thanks all children and young people interviewed who shared their insights and experience. Their voices are heard in this video and led to findings and recommendations in the 2020 Exit Surveys: Youth Justice Report.

If you would like more information about the work of the Advocate for children and Young People please visit www.acyp.nsw.gov.au

Talking Trouble (Youth Justice NZ)

It’s important that young people, families and victims of youth crime can communicate their hopes, needs and aspirations. Oranga Tamariki and our justice sector partners have been working with Talking Trouble to improve how we enable those we work with to communicate and also to understand what is happening at each point on their journey through the youth justice system, allowing them to properly participate.


Youth Justice in South Australia – Innovation and Enhanced Support (Youth Justice SA)

Youth Justice in South Australia is developing and introducing a number of different organisational development projects to strengthen the responsiveness of Youth Justice Services to the disability-related needs of the children and young people we care for. In this video, some of our Senior Allied Health staff will give a brief overview of these initiatives.

My Country, My Family, My Home (Youth Justice WA)

East Kimberley Regional Youth Justice Services is the most remote youth justice service in the state of WA. It is a three day trip for a young person entering custody to be transported from the East Kimberley to the single detention centre in Perth. The staff at East Kimberley Regional Youth Justice Services understand this intimately, and it is a driver to ensure custody is a last resort. The cohort of young people involved in this presentation, are all at the diversionary stage and involved with the Juvenile Justice Team (JJT). Youth Justice Services innovatively engage the young people via media and the making of their songs, along with gaining skills from the North Regional TAFE. At the same time, they engage families to knit young people back into what is important in their life. This is some of their work.


Single Case Management and Throughcare: Through the Lens of Practitioners (ACT)

The ACT spotlight video showcases Child and Youth Protection Services’ (CYPS) single case management and throughcare model, which is unique to the ACT. Through the lens of practitioners; the key benefits of the model are explored as well as practitioners experiences of working in this way and the key outcomes for young people.