Shields for Living, Tools for Life
A rehabilitation program by CASSE Australia for at-risk Aboriginal youths.
Shields for Living, Tools for Life is a rehabilitation program by CASSE Australia for at-risk Aboriginal youths between the ages of 13 and 17. The program is designed to curb offending or re-offending, and is part of the Northern Territory Government’s ‘Creating Safer Communities: Back on Track – Cutting Youth Crime’ Initiative.
Based on the Men’s Tjilirra Movement model, the program focuses on promoting self-esteem, identity, capacity, and well-being through:
- “transmission of cultural knowledge and skills about tjilirra (traditional tools), caring for country, traditional hunting and gathering, singing song lines, dancing and visiting Dreaming sites;
- strengthening connections between generations;
- facilitating culturally appropriate trauma-informed therapy on traditional lands; and
- mentoring and training. ”
Reflection, healing and reparation is achieved through participation in:
- Cultural Camps
- Reflective Group Meetings
- Forensic Rehabilitation Meetings
- Assessment of impact and efficacy
Collaboration with DKA
A collaboration between DKA and CASSE supports the continued delivery of Shields for Living, Tools for Life amidst the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
A new outdoor cultural camp space has been created at the Desert Knowledge Precinct, which will allow the program to continue delivering workshops while being surrounded by 73 hectares of spectacular Arrernte bushland. The Precinct, underpinned by an Indigenous Land Use Agreement, is a welcoming and supportive environment which maintains connection to country.
This collaboration also supports the growth of the DKA-led Codes 4 Life project and CASSE-led Shields for Living, Tools for Life program. The two programs are mutually supportive as they share common focus areas: taking ownership and responsibility, preventing reoffending, and maintaining a connection to culture.
“This is a creative and flexible response designed to allow us to continue working with our participants safely whilst the COVID-19 virus is a threat to our community, whilst also providing the great opportunity to grow and strengthen our programs through knowledge sharing and collaboration.”
- Rainer Chlanda (SFLTFL Coordinator) with Robert Hoosan (SFLTFL Cultural Camp Coordinator)
The cultural camp will be used to continue delivery of the Men’s Tjilirra Movement model, where young individuals in the Youth Justice system will make traditional tools in a safe and supportive environment on country.