South Gippsland
Victoria, Australia




Proposal for the use of the ex prison farm at Won Wron, 
ten kilometres from Yarram. 


For a complete update on the status of Wulgunggo Ngalu, go to the Department of Justice's website, then enter WULGUNGGO NGALU into the search facility ('ngalu' will do it). This will give you a list of documents which includes the physical development of the site, its proposed use, and other documents.

Of particular interest is the document RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS OF THE LOCAL COMMUNITY.
You will find this under the document heading 
"Department of Justice - Prisons and Community Corrections - Community Correctional Services - Wulgunggo Ngalu Learning Place". Enter on this and you will see an entry to an Adobe file that is listed as:
Wulgunggo Ngalu Learning Place: Responses to Questions of the Local Community (PDF 162 KB). 
Link on this to find the document. (Or link on the document name above). 

Department of Justice.  Information Sheet. 16 August 2005


The State Government has announced a new site for the Indigenous Adult Residential Diversion Program. The Program, which will be located at the former Won Wron prison site in Yarram, Gippsland, aims to rehabilitate Koori offenders.

What is the program?

Young adult Indigenous males who have been placed on Community Based Orders (CBOs) and
who would otherwise live in the general community while fulfilling that order can take
part in the program. Participants volunteer to "live-in" during the program which will help them avoid re-offending, improve job prospects, reduce substance abuse and improve their overall health. 

The program is not open to any violent offenders, sex offenders or drug traffickers.

Up to 20 Indigenous adult male offenders will be accommodated at the facility. Residents will
receive rehabilitative support while working, training and learning lifeskills.

Why is it needed?

The program has been set up in response to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in
Custody (RCIADIC) and developed in partnership with Victoria's Indigenous
community. It was first endorsed by the Aboriginal Justice Forum in 2002.

The key finding of RCIADIC was the need for programs and services which reduce the over-
representation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system. Currently Indigenous persons are nearly 14 times more likely to be in prison than non-Indigenous persons.

Indigenous Victorians breach their CBOs at nearly double the rate of the non-Indigenous 
population. In 2003/2004 49.9% ofCBOs imposed on Indigenous people were breached,
compared to 28.3 % breach rate for non-Indigenous Victorians.

It is important to understand that a breach of community based orders does not necessarily
mean that a person has re-offended. Breaches may include failure to attend meetings with the
person's case manager or failure to undertake a program as directed. Such breaches can result in  the person returning to court and potentially getting a custodial sentence. But in such cases the
person who is on the community based order has not 're-offended' against the community.

What will it achieve?

The program will help Indigenous offenders tosuccessfully complete their Community Based
Orders (CBOs) while teaching them life skills that will reduce the likelihood of them offending
again in the future. The Program is aimed at reducing the dramatic over-representation of
Indigenous people in Victoria's criminal justice system.

What will the exact nature of staffing be for the program?

At a minimum, 15 full-time rostered staff will be employed by the Board of Management to run
the Program. Those staff will be recruited to undertake the roles that include:.
. Management
. Program workers
. Landcare & Maintenance tradesman/teacher 
. Cook/catering teacher
. Administration officer

There will also be opportunities for casual work with the Program to address specific issues and
training needs.

The facility will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The staffing complement will be 
sufficient to provide appropriate security, supervision, resident management and delivery of  programs. 

Why is the Pragram being relocated to the Gippsland Region?

When considering alternative locations for the program, there were a number of advantages to 
the Gippsland Region:

. There is significant regional demand for a diversionary program for Indigenous male offenders -  as at March 2005 approximately 28.5% of all Indigenous offenders on CBOs and Intensive Corrections Orders (ICOs) were from the Gippsland/Metropolitan South East Region.

. A Koori Court will be established in Gippsland by 2006, which will provide a local referral point for the Program.

. The Program will increase employment opportunities for Indigenous people in the Latrobe Valley area, where the Indigenous unemployment rate is amongst the highest in the State.

. In its 2003 Regional Plan the Gippsland Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory  Committee (RAJAC) outlined its interest in acquiring the Won Wron site to establish a diversion program in Central Gippsland.

What are the key elements of the Program?

A key aspect of the Program is that it will emphasise Aboriginal culture, values and dimensions.

Key elements of the Program include:

. Supervising staff at the Program 24 hours a day, 7 days a week;

. Residents will participate in a fully structured and individually tailored program;
. Strict curfews will apply to residents;
. The Program will be a drug and alcohol free environment;
. The Program will temporarily isolate residents from peer groups who may be contributing to
their offending behaviour; and
. All aspects of the Program have been designed to help the residents to lead a law abiding lifestyle in the future.

What types of offenders will be eligible?

The Program is NOT a prison, and therefore prisoners will NOT be eligible to participate in
the Program. 

The Program is for Indigenous adult male offenders who will be admitted to the program as
a condition of a Community Based Order (CBO). A CBO is an order given by a Magistrate where
they find a person guilty of an offence, but do not believe the circumstances warrant a prison  sentence.

Will the residents be allowed off-the-site?

Residents will be able to leave the site as part of their structured program. In fact, a key part of the Program will be linking residents to services offered in the wider community. 

However residents will only be able to leave the site with the prior permission of staff and when it is a requirement of their structured program.

How long will residents stay? 

Residents will be living at the facility for up to 6 months.