First Nations Justice Office
The First Nations Justice Office (FNJO) within the Department of Justice and Attorney-General (DJAG) was established as part of the Queensland Government’s response to the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce (the Taskforce) report Hear her voice—Report One—Addressing coercive control and domestic and family violence in Queensland (Report One) to:
- address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Queensland’s criminal justice system
- meet Queensland’s National Agreement on Closing the Gap (the National Agreement) targets.
The National Agreement justice targets are for the Queensland Government to:
- by 2031, reduce the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults in incarceration by at least 15% (target 10)
- by 2031, reduce the detention rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people by at least 30% (target 11).
Response to National Agreement
The FNJO supports and participates in the Justice Policy Partnership (JPP)—a joined-up approach between the Commonwealth, state and territory governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives—under Priority Reform One of the National Agreement, with a focus on reducing adult and youth incarceration.
Response to Taskforce Report One
We will work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations and other government agencies to co-design a specific Community and whole-of-government strategy (the strategy) to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the criminal justice system, as recommended in Report One.
Response to Taskforce Report Two
The FNJO has also partnered with the Justice Reform Office (JRO) to co-lead the response to recommendations 94 and 183 of Taskforce report Hear her voice—Report Two—Women and girls' experiences across the criminal justice system (Report Two) to further considering systemic justice reinvestment approaches.
In February 2023 the Queensland Government announced funding to establish community-led, place-based justice reinvestment initiatives that will address the underlying causes of youth crime and reduce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander over-representation in our justice system. The FNJO and JRO are working towards the development of a Justice Reinvestment Framework for Queensland in 2023–24 to inform justice reinvestment opportunities across Queensland, including:
- how justice reinvestment will operate
- assessing community readiness
- how initiatives/investments are supported beyond the allocation of initial funding
- how initiatives are monitored and evaluated.
Response to Commission of Inquiry
In 2023–24 the FNJO will also establish domestic and family violence (DFV) as a key priority in response to recommendations 65, 66 and 67 of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Service responses to domestic and family violence (Commission of Inquiry).
As part of this, from July 2023 the FNJO commenced oversight of Queensland’s framework for action—Reshaping our approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander domestic and family violence, and will provide support to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander DFV Prevention Group.
Read the DFV prevention strategy 2016–2026 to find out how the Queensland Government is driving change across all sectors of the Queensland community to end DFV.
Path to Treaty
How we are working with our partners
DJAG is the lead agency for Queensland and the Deputy Director-General, Justice Services is the Queensland Government representative on the Commonwealth JPP, supported by the First Nations Justice Officer.
Strong governance frameworks have been established in Queensland in partnership with the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Coalition, with an Executive Governance Group supported by a Cross-Agency Working Group. The Deputy Director-General of Justice Services and the CEO of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service co-chair the Executive Governance Group. The First Nations Justice Officer and Principal Legal Officer of the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service co-chair the Cross-Agency Working Group.
We will work with the following partners to deliver our priorities:
- Department of Health
- Department of Housing
- Department of Justice and Attorney-General
- Department of Premier and Cabinet
- Department of Treaty, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Communities and the Arts
- Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training
- Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak
- Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council
- Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service
- Queensland Corrective Services
- Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service
- Queensland Police Service
- Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council
- Queensland Treasury.
Community engagement activities
Community and whole-of-government strategy
We will engage with community to co-design the strategy, including a formal consultation phase. We acknowledge the lived experiences and cultural authority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are integral to the co-design, co-ownership and co-implementation of the strategy.
Through engagement and consultation we aim to develop local solutions to local issues, in the context of local service systems.
If you’d like to learn more about the strategy email FNJO-JusticeStrategy@justice.qld.gov.au.
- Queensland’s inaugural First Nations Justice Officer appointed, 16 January 2023
If you would like to contact the FNJO please email FirstNationsJusticeOffice@justice.qld.gov.au.