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A successful year for Martu Patrol

The Martu Night Patrol has continued to support young Martu people in 2022, with the service extending its service to every night of the week, while also increasing employment opportunities for Martu People.  

In 2021, Martu Patrol was designed as a rapid response program in response to anti-social behaviour and increasing crime in Newman. The concept resulted through close engagement with Martu leaders, the Newman Women’s Shelter, Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa, WA Police and the Newman Feedback Group with the goal of working together in new ways to keep young Martu people safe.  

The Newman Women’s Shelter have been the lead agency since its inception in June 2021, when the program started as a 12-month pilot. This year, given the success of the program, the program secured further funding from BHP to continue until June 2023.

The Martu Patrol patrols the streets of Newman each night, picking up young people who are out and about late at night, providing them with hot food, water and a ride to a safe space for the night.

The Newman Women’s Shelter employs Martu people to run the patrol, not only creating more employment opportunities for Martu, but capitalising on their connection with local families and knowledge of Martu language.

Martu woman Olivia Wilson is one of the team members and said building trust with young Martu is valuable in supporting them

“We’re helping the kids by making sure the kids are fed, otherwise they might not get that feed at home.”

NWS Chief Executive Officer Arina Aoina said the Martu Patrol has proven successful in reaching young people.

“The kids really do feel supported, we’ve gotten to know them and  built  trust  since the project started” she said.

“The kids are familiar with the Martu Patrol because they know they will get a meal and engaging with Martu people.

“The employment opportunities for Martu are increased through Martu Patrol, which is so important for the community.”

This year, the Martu Patrol also supported the new Train Park Soup Kitchen, run by NWS staff and volunteers providing food and clothing to children and their family members  in East Newman.

A big thank you to Lifestyle Solutions for putting up their hand to loan the Martu Patrol a new bus, this will make a big difference to the program going forward.

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