Publication Details

Ravulo, J. (2015). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reconnection Project Evaluation Report. Australian Museum.


The Australian Museum, in partnership with The Street University Mount Druitt, Fairfield Museum, Juvenile Justice (Cobham and Juniperina centres) and ICE (Information and Cultural Exchange) Parramatta, facilitated the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reconnection Project from 2014 to 2015, which sought to address the potential link between the overrepresentation of Aboriginal young people in Juvenile Justice alongside the possible cultural dislocation which may lead to a compromised sense of self identity. The project, which took place within the Museum and as outreach programs at Juvenile Justice centres, community centres and events, were held as one-day workshops/events or as a series of workshops spanning several weeks. They explored Aboriginal cultural expressions, such as dancing, painting, storytelling and music making, for young people to explore their Indigenous identity in a safe place; where questions could be asked of Indigenous and Pacific museum staff, and encouraged young people to inquire further into their own cultural identity with family and tribal group leaders. This report highlights the impact of this project upon facilitators of the project (Thelma Thomas and Chris Reid), participants (Aboriginal young people in the Juvenile Justice system, totaling 22 participants from 2014-2015) and stakeholders (Juniperina, Cobham, Street University and ICE). These reflections took the form of interviews with the facilitators and stakeholders in person or via email, and surveys and personal reflections by student participants. Important themes emerged from all three groups, which are reflected in this report. The final section considers the highlights of the program and recommendations from all groups, and how the project's impact can be increased in future manifestations of the project.