2024 First Nations National Juvenile Justice Conference

02 - 04 October, 2024

Shangri-La Hotel, Cairns QLD

Conference Aboriginal Art


In Australia, the protocol is to recognise the Traditional Owners of the land to which we are gathering. Therefore, all presentations must begin with an acknowledgement to country and to local Traditional Elders: “We wish to acknowledge and respect the traditional custodians whose ancestral lands we are to meet upon. We acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and relationship of Aboriginal peoples to Country. We also pay respects to the cultural authority of Aboriginal peoples visiting / attending from other areas of Australia who are present here”.

Indigenous Conference Services acknowledges and pay our respect to the Traditional people of the Country. "Welcome to Country" ceremony and "acknowledging the traditional custodians" of the land shows respect for Aboriginal people as Australia's First Peoples. Ceremonies and protocols are a fundamental part of Aboriginal cultures.


The 2024 First Nations National Juvenile Justice Conference is scheduled to be held on October 2-4, 2024 at Shangri-La Hotel in Cairns QLD Australia. This crucial conference aims to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous youth in the criminal justice system. Indigenous children are now 26 times more likely to be in detention than non-Indigenous youth. Due to this, it is extremely crucial that justice targets need to be adopted as part of the Closing the Gap strategy - a move resisted by state and federal governments, yet one that would focus attention on policy outcomes aimed at reducing Indigenous youth incarceration. The need for systemic change is clear, but often it is only when there are consequences to individuals that behavioural and cultural change follows.

The conference aims to bring together experts, stakeholders, and community members to discuss and develop strategies to prevent Indigenous youth from entering the justice system, support those who are already involved, and promote reconciliation and healing. The conference is a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences, and best practices, and it provides an opportunity to collaborate and build partnerships to improve the lives of Indigenous youth and their communities. The Indigenous Juvenile Justice Conference is also a forum for celebrating the resilience, strength, and creativity of Indigenous youth and communities. The conference showcases innovative and inspiring programs that support Indigenous youth to thrive and achieve their potential, such as mentoring, education, art, and sport programs. By highlighting these positive initiatives, the conference will challenge the negative stereotypes and stigmatization of Indigenous youth and promotes a more nuanced and respectful understanding of their experiences and aspirations. The conference ultimately aims to empower Indigenous youth and communities to shape their own futures and contribute to a more just and equitable society.

With the invention of the internet, the world is now at most peoples’ door step as such the sharing of information whether it be programs run by government or not-for-profit organisations has become more accessible in today’s society. As such, the conference endeavours to establish a network for the sharing of information on preventive Juvenile Justice programs.


The conference objectives are designed to empower and stimulate open and frank discussion through the sharing of traditional knowledge and strengths to overcome adversity and fosters partnerships between governments, service providers and First Nations communities. Its designed to empower and stimulate discussion in a positive manner that can and may be used back in our work environment to further develop strength, unity and education. Moreover, one of the most powerful objectives that Indigenous peoples have is the strength to overcome adversity through the power of sharing knowledge and therefore the conference will attempt to foster all of the issues set out in this conference.

  • Reduce First Nations youth incarcerations

  • Provide an open and frank forum for discussion

  • Lend support to individuals and families working in the Justice system

  • Help establish and grow a worldwide network and resources through information sharing

  • Show that there are great efforts being made to make change

  • Exchange information regarding the successes of community projects

  • To bring together all sectors of the community as a united voice to say there are alternatives to juvenile incarceration

  • Bring together researchers, service providers, government agencies, policy makers/developers & organisations

  • Networking and lend support to individuals and groups working in the justice  system

  • To foster partnerships between Government, Service Providers, Community groups and individuals  


The key themes of the 2024 First Nations National Juvenile Justice Conference is the need for a holistic approach to youth justice that acknowledges and addresses the underlying causes of offending, such as intergenerational trauma, poverty, and discrimination. The conference highlights the importance of involving Indigenous communities and Elders in the justice process, as they have a deep understanding of the cultural and social factors that contribute to youth offending. By engaging with Indigenous perspectives and knowledge, the conference aims to promote culturally appropriate and effective responses to youth offending that prioritize prevention and rehabilitation over punishment. The conference theme includes:

Based on the principle that prevention is better than detention

Developing partnerships from the Community to Government

Building capacities for improving outcomes in reducing numbers of Indigenous youth entering into the justice system.

The conference is not politically based. It should be seen as an opportunity to access information that is not readily available. The conference envisions that partnerships and working in unison should form the basis of stemming the unacceptable numbers of youth we find in our Justice system today.


Before European settlement and the introduction of foreign diseases, alcohol and other detriments, the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander culture was vibrant and strong with spiritual and family lore that were guiding principles to a way of life that existed for centuries. It has now succumbed to bright lights and the trappings of modern day society.

Throughout the decades we have seen the erosion and destruction of our language, customs and spiritual well being. The dynamics of contemporary Australia showing seventy percent (70%) of Indigenous people live in an urban setting. A question we ask you to consider - What if Captain Cook didn’t land on the shore of the East Coast of Australia, but in a far more remote area? Would Australia’s east coast be what it is today?

The backbone of our existence is family, custom & spirituality. During group discussions we would like to explore past and present experiences, leading into future strategies & goals to empower our people in our communities. We believe that through sharing of experiences and knowledge, we become stronger as a collective. The opportunity to discuss juvenile justice issues in an open, transparent and culturally sensitive forum has become a vital networking source to develop collaborative approaches for the betterment of Indigenous peoples overall wellbeing.


Indigenous peoples, nationally and internationally, will come together in an environment that can lead to the sharing of information via their cultural and historical values.  This conference is designed to inspire and enable Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples, services and other partners to take control, step up and take action to the next level, to ensure the rights and self determination of First Nations Peoples are upheld. To honour our Indigenous men, women, youth and the whole family – their strength and resilience – by listening to their stories and strategies, learning from their experiences and committing to systemic change to protect the rights of our children, families and cultures. To honour also the knowledge of our men, Elders and wisdom of our cultural responses, sharing successes and struggles to chart effective, evidence-informed ways forward. The conference provides a forum to discuss solutions by Indigenous peoples and to connect and acquire knowledge from each other to heal the spirit, heal the earth, and sustain cultural practices for this generation and for the future generations to come.


This conference presents a unique opportunity for delegates to participate in a positive environment that is dedicated to the sharing of information and the empowering of all who attend.  In our everyday working environment the day to day stresses of our positions tends to limit us in expanding our knowledge and networking. Whether you work at a community level or at governmental level the opportunity to network and gain contacts outside of your local region tend to be limited, this is why this conference will be so valuable to participants. Hence, all Indigenous people and non-indigenous people whether professional or community-based, who have a vested interest in juvenile justice are invited.


·         Indigenous Justice Workers and people working in juvenile justice  

·         Consultants / Legal Professionals

·         Nurses / Doctors/ Psychiatrists, Police Officers, Social Workers

·         Youth Workers, Domestic violence workers, Justice Workers

·         Community groups

·         Family relationship workers

·         Community leaders

·         Indigenous women and men’s groups

·         Psychologists, Social Workers, NGOs

·         Women groups, Human Rights Enthusiasts

·         Government Representatives, Community Leaders

·         Domestic Violence Field Workers, Teachers


We wish to invite Indigenous and non-Indigenous people from Australia and throughout, to attend the conference to share and gather information. We also extend an invitation to participants to join us at the conference dinner in a relaxed atmosphere. To ensure that delegates attend and participate fully in the conference experience, it is important to note that to show accountability of delegates in meeting their obligation; each delegate will receive a Certificate of Attendance only when they attend 85% of all the conference sessions. In addition at the end of the conference, delegates will receive a copy of all papers & presentations presented at the conference through Dropbox.

Who:           Individuals, Groups, NGO’s, Government Agencies & Others

When:         October 4-6, 2024

Where:        Shangri-La Hotel Cairns QLD Australia

Time:           9.00am - 5:00pm

WARNING: Limited availability. Please register online or contact us via email, should you have any further queries.


Indigenous conference Services (Australia) is a privately owned, wholly self-funded Indigenous business which specialises in events and conferences. Even though we are a self funded enterprise, we come from grass roots backgrounds with a burning passion for social justice issues. As such, we seek to compliment the workings of community initiatives and organisations across a broad spectrum of Indigenous affairs. The events that we design seek not to have a political agenda, however to compliment local, state and national organisations. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) seeks to employ local community members wherever possible and gives a strong undertaking to adhere to local customs and protocols.


Come and celebrate First Nations people & Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, strengths, successes and empowerment. To share First Nations peoples stories and ideas about what has worked for you or your community and how we address life’s challenges. This conference is blessed with the abundance of the highest calibre guest speakers from proud Indigenous peoples around the Australia.  


As an employee we are asked to present valid reasons why we should attend. Listed below are valid points that can be raised with your employer to justify your attendance.

  • Staff attending conferences regularly tend to become long term employees

  • An event such as this adds to the positive moral of staff

  • Conferences are a great way of providing ongoing training

  • Provides the opportunity to further enhance the organisation knowledge base

  • The opportunity for saving organisations money because of the short duration of the event

  • Allows delegates to showcase the organisation nationally and internationally

  • May provide organisations with new ideas

  • Gives organisations a showcase and voice at a national level

  • Provide an opportunity to evaluate various programs

  • Because this event is conducted over a short period, staff are only absent for a minimal number of days


(Invitation to submit abstracts for presentations and workshops)

Guidelines for Submitting Paper:

Papers should not contain offensive language and take in to account cultural sensitivities.

Papers may treat the themes in a manner that contributes to a further discussion of the conference aims.

Conference papers must be presented in the finish format not less 60 days prior to the event.

Papers that are not chosen in the first round may be resubmitted if there is a second round.

Papers should be submitted in IBM and Microsoft Word format.

A Brief Outline of Paper (maximum 350 words online).

Author/s of papers presented at the conference will be formally notified acceptance.

Presentation time at the conference for your papers will be allowed a maximum of 45 minutes, this will include question and answer time.

Call for papers registration fee of $750 will apply to all persons submitting papers, payable upon acceptance of papers.

Papers should explore ways in which the themes show up in the philosophy of the conference.

A maximum of two presenters for each paper are eligible for the discounted call for papers registration fee. If 2 presenters, then 2 biographies are required. Two paragraphs outlining the proposed speaker’s Biography required.

All papers must be presented in a positive and informative light.                   

A Head and Shoulders photo of papers’ authors/presenters are required within 30 days of confirmation of acceptance of paper.

Authors agree to have their paper published as part of the conference proceedings.

Authors to agree to allow biography of themselves and their photo published as part of the conference promotion.

Authors agree to consent to media interviews, if required.

Authors and presenters must show due respect and acknowledgement to Traditional Owners. Hence, presentations and speech must begin with an “Acknowledgment To Country”.

The correct wording will be provided as part of your confirmation letter if chosen and successful in being accepted with due respects and acknowledgement to traditional owners of land where we will be convening.              


The conference may or may not save you, or your organisation, time, money and manpower. However, one thing the event guarantees is the opportunity to enlarge your network and information base thus empowering delegates to make greater informed decisions.


As they say, all work and no play makes for a dull conference. To overcome this, the secretariat has organised a conference dinner to be held on the first night of the event. This dinner will give delegates the opportunity to further network while letting your hair down in an informal setting. The conference dinner will be at a ticket cost of $150 per person. Your ticket includes a 4 course meal. The conference dinner is additional to the conference fees and bookings must be made with our office prior to the event. 


Furthermore, it has been proven time and time again that events such as this empower and reinvigorate workers with new ideas and with enthusiasm, with a greater feeling of support and contacts that may be utilised for the betterment of their own or local community. Whether you are an allied health professional, Indigenous health worker, medical professionals or in administrative clerical role within the organisation, this conference will provide excellent opportunities to gain and share information that will be of use to you back in your community.  The opportunities that this Conference provides to people involved in Aboriginal Health is the sharing of knowledge and development of long term friendships/partnerships.  This conference is basically designed from an Indigenous perspective in which we all lend support to each other regardless of our employers. With all this in mind, we invite you to actively participate in the upcoming event.


(Register early to get a discount!) Please note that registrations are set out in an affordable way for organisations, which changes on a monthly basis. So the earlier you register, the more savings for your organisation. Registration fees include all day access to the event, available conference papers, daily lunch and refreshments for registered delegates only. Fees do not include travel costs or accommodation. Registration fees are non-refundable and must be received within 7 DAYS from being issued an invoice. Otherwise, bookings will not be considered.  To register, please click on the registration page and complete the form or you can also request for a conference brochure and the registration form to be sent to you by email at adminics@iinet.net.au


The event secretary has come up with some great ideas on how to save money for you and your organisation.

ACCOMMODATION: We have negotiated a special room rate for delegates at the Shangri-La Hotel

CONCESSION: A special rate for university students is being offered for a flat rate of $750.



Indigenous Conference Services (Australia)

Postal Address: 8 Kiwi Court, Pt Vernon QLD 4655 Australia

Web: www.icsconferences.org  

Email:  admin@icsconferences.org

Phone: 07 40009111, +61 4557 76 668

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