The Department of Corrective Services has appointed an Assistant Commissioner of Aboriginal Justice to reduce the rate of Aboriginal imprisonment.
Corrective Services Minister Margaret Quirk said the senior position would strengthen indigenous leadership and direction within the department, and reflected the State Government’s commitment to the issue.
“I am pleased to announce that Neil Fong, the former Director of the Office of Aboriginal Health, will be the first person to fill this important position,” Ms Quirk said.
“Mr Fong has a long history of working proactively on Aboriginal issues. He helped set up the inaugural Kimberley Commission of Elders, assisted with the Gordon Inquiry, worked to establish the Aboriginal Cultural Respect Framework and improved health services for Aboriginal people.
“As Minister for Corrective Services, it is completely unacceptable to me that 43 per cent of our prison population is Aboriginal, compared to just three per cent of the general population.
“Part of Mr Fong’s role will be to engage Aboriginal communities and other service providers to facilitate partnerships, improve lifestyle choices and change behavioural patterns in order to reduce the level of recidivism and incarceration.
“Mr Fong will also play a key role in informing policy and procedures from an indigenous perspective.”
Mr Fong would provide high-level advice on issues relating to services for Aboriginal people, as well as working closely with the locals and building Aboriginal community confidence.
He will start with the department at the end of August.
Minister's office - 9213 7000