Consultation on Youth Reforms

A Youth Justice Reforms Review Meeting was held on Tuesday 19 October 2021 to gather feed-back on the recent changes to the Youth Justice Act 1992 to gauge if the reform is on track to address serious, repeat youth offending.

Attendees included Mr Bob Atkinson and his team from the Department of Youth Justice, North side Elders and Community Members, as well as staff from Kurbingui, Murri Watch and Gallang Place (youth team, CEO and support workers.

Mr Atikinson led the meeting, welcoming community and arranging introductions of his team, community members and organisations.

The meeting was an opportunity for community to provide feedback on the Youth Justice and Other Legislation Ammendment Act 2021 intending to increase the accountability of methods being trialled to reduce reoffending.

The initial discussion centred around the new anti-hooning laws, trial of metal detecting wands and ankle bracelets and what affect these changes are having on the community.

Some of the concerns bought up were:

  • youth being stopped and questioned by police and other authority figures
  • lack of Police Liaison Officers in the area
  • education around the changes made to legislation.
  • the possibility of the new youth justice laws and programs reducing serious repeat offending by young people
  • the impacts of the new laws on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • the best way to address serious and repeat offending by young people

The feedback will contribute towards the review of the reform.


Image caption: Attendees at the Youth Justice Reform meeting including Live Long Live Strong coordinator Gallang Place Shaquille Blair, Mr Bob Atkinson, CEO of Gallang Place Rachel Malthouse, Aunty Hazel Fisher, Executive Officer Healing Gallang Place  Batasi Morris, Board Member of Gallang Place Aunty Shirley Finn, Counsellors and Support Workers from Gallang Place Glenn Wagner, Jessica Bong and Jesse Thompson.

Congratulations Aunty Batasi

Congratulations to Aunty Batasi Morris, Executive Officer Healing, for her 20 years of service with Gallang Place. 

During her time with Gallang Place, Aunty Batasi has grown from one of the counselling team to one of our Executive team, developing our Straight Talk AOD program and now looking after all the counsellors at Gallang Place.

When we asked Aunty Batasi how she felt about her time she said “I’ve loved my time here because of the organisation and how it’s been built. Helping our mob from the heart. This is a warm place.”

Aunty Batasi started her counselling journey after raising her children but knowing she still had plenty to give to her community.

She completed a Diploma of Indigenous Welfare in 1997 and a Diploma of Community Service in Ingham and has continued to grow and educate herself and others over the years.

And even though Counselling wasn’t her first choice of career, Aunty Batasi said “I’ve always felt I was a counsellor at heart and I’ve always loved helping our mob.”

When talking about her work with clients and with her team over the years, Aunty Batasi says “one important thing about counselling – we (counsellors) are not the expert. The other person is the expert in themselves. We’re just here to help guide them.”

Her team always talk about her beautifully giving, welcoming and comforting spirit. Her door is always open, and her listening ears are always there to support others.

n her words, “It’s important to always have empathy and kindness and do what you can, especially to help your mob.”

It is with deep gratitude that we thank and congratulate Aunty Batasi for her significant contribution to community, counselling and Gallang Place.

Gallang Place Chair Toni Janke, featured in Catholic Leader

June 2019

Toni Janke in her role as Indigenous Services co-ordinator within Centacare Family and Relationship Services’ Brisbane Metropolitan Region.

Toni, a descendant of the Wuthathi and Meriam peoples of Cape York and Murray Island, Torres Strait, has had this role for four years.

She works across south-east Queensland providing support, through Centacare Family and Relationship Services, to clients and staff, and primarily working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

Day to day she’s supporting people in crisis, sometimes facing the toughest time in their lives.

Toni’s at the coalface of helping people caught up in years of entrenched inequality and injustice – “every day, every day, every day”.

“Part of my role as a practitioner, is working every day with families who walk through the door in crisis – sometimes three, four, five families a day – and being able to get a good result …,” she said.

“When I say a good result – that’s keeping somebody safe or trying to keep them out of the system, whether it’s to put them in touch with housing supports or put them in touch with specialist services, counselling support – all of those things – I think that’s the way forward.

“There might be inter-generational trauma, where people don’t know who they are because they have been removed or stolen – the stolen generations we talk about.

“A good outcome is keeping kids out of the system. A good outcome is trying to make sure the basic needs are at least met, to start with.”


Batasi Morris (Executive Officer -Healing) and Michelle Schoonbeek (Executive Officer – Operations) had the pleasure of attending the Ipswich Murri Interagency meeting on Tuesday, 2 April 2019.

The Ipswich Murri Interagency Meetings are scheduled on the first Tuesday of each month and are organised and facilitated by Derek Kinchela, Indigenous Australian Community Development Officer, Ipswich City Council.

The meeting was a fantastic opportunity to network with representatives from the non-government sector, Queensland Government and community members as well as reconnect with some old friends from the past!!!!

The meeting was extra special given that we had the opportunity to catch up with Rebecca Smith who was a counsellor at Gallang Place prior to taking up a role with Mental Health, Queensland Government.

Derek does an amazing job in organising these important meetings and we would like to thank Derek for all his hard work and commitment to ensuring that we have such a fantastic opportunity to come together to share information and to continue learning about different programs and services available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

I am Strong

“I am strong in culture was made as part of the SNAICC Resource Service Child Rearing Stories project, managed by Jane Harrison. Ten participants from Aboriginal Early Childhood services took part in a Children’s Self Publishing ‘train the trainer’ workshop, creating these words and images.”  –  Copyright SNAICC 2009

Click on the link below to see full version:

>>I am Strong<<

Gallang Place Staff Receive Suicide Prevention Training

Gallang Place staff members participated in the 3 day Dr Tracy Westerman program: Mental Health Assessment of Aboriginal Clients & Suicide Prevention in Aboriginal Communities.
The Program was conducted in July and 6 of our staff participated.
“I found the training to be culturally specific for our clients and useful in that it encouraged us to explore the specific factors that may be affecting our clients, including cultural bound syndromes and acculturative stress.
We were also given opportunities to workshop case studies and strategies to address minimization and observe the Westerman Aboriginal Symptom Checklist for youth and adults to determine risk levels.
Overall one of the best workshops I have attended.”
      Malinda Flynn, Gallang Place, Practice Manager

Gallang Place Chairperson recognised by University of Qld

Dr Noritta Morseu-Diop Gallang Place’s Chairperson, has been awarded the Indigenous Community Impact Award by the University of Queensland Alumni.

The award acknowledges Norita as “an advocate for social justice and reform with extensive experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Queensland, and the first Torres Strait Islander awarded a PhD from the University of Queensland.”

Gallang Place proudly congratulates Norita on her recognition and achievement.

Important Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conferences Information

2nd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference 20-21 November 2018

2nd World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference 22-23 November 2018



The urgent need for successful initiatives to reduce the high rates of Indigenous suicide and self-harm among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia is widely acknowledged by governments and Aboriginal communities.

The Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention (CBPATSISP) has been funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health to focus on Indigenous suicide prevention with particular emphasis on high-risk groups, the identification and adaption of best practice in Indigenous suicide prevention, postvention innovation and activity.

In June 2016 the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP) Solutions that Works: What the Evidence and Our People Tell Us Report was launched in Canberra. The Report summarises the evidence base for what works in Indigenous suicide prevention, including responses to the social determinants of health that are `upstream’ risk factors for suicide.

A common success factor in community-based interventions or responses to Indigenous suicide is their development and implementation through Indigenous leadership and in partnership with Indigenous communities. This is due to the need for responses to address cultural and ‘lived experience’ elements as well as enable Indigenous people to exercise their right to self-determination and be involved in service design and delivery as mental health consumers.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide rates remain high in Australia, with Indigenous Australians being more than twice as likely to die by suicide than non-Indigenous Australians (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016). Young Indigenous people (aged 15-24) are particularly vulnerable, being over five times more likely to die by suicide than their non-Indigenous peers (Dudgeon et al., 2016).

We welcome all services, projects and programs that are working in Indigenous suicide prevention, social and emotional wellbeing and Indigenous mental health. We encourage you to submitting an abstract, to attend, to share learnings and experiences, to develop networks and to take home examples of what works.

Mununjali NAIDOC Family Fun Day

A fantastic Day at the Mununjali NAIDOC Family Fun Day.

Gallang Place – Beaudesert

Partners In Recovery (PIR) – North Stradbroke Island

Gallang Place recently invited eight Partners In Recovery (PIR) participants to attend a three-day cultural camp on Minjerrabah, North Stradbroke Island.

The camp, held in May 2017, connected participants with the country to increase social and community participation through cultural activities. Participants had the rare opportunity to engage with 2017 NAIDOC award-winning Minjerribah Moorgumpin Elders who happily shared their Quandamooka culture and traditions at Terra Bulla, the Old Aboriginal Mission.

Traditional land owner Mathew Burns delivered an artefact and cultural talk on the hidden yet very well-documented histories of Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island) and Moorgumpin (Moreton Island). The group also went on the Gorriemooka 4WD Tour with traditional land owner Brian Coghill across the island to appreciate the natural flora and fauna plus the Aboriginal connection to land and sea.

Participants also learnt how to make fire, weave grass skirts, fillet mullet fish and prepare traditional food.

 Feedback from participants was amazing. Here is what a few had to say:

“They have all helped me have an understanding about other cultures, and [it] was good to get away and enjoy what others loved to do. The birds’ singing helped me with my healing or so I believe.”

“Thank you for all your help and support. Thanks for understanding and the time your staff has helped our group to enjoy something new. I had a great time and would like to do it again. Thank you for asking me to join your group, I will never forget the great time [we had].”

“I liked the first activity the most ’cause we sat down as a group and listened to the Elders, and you could hear in their voices what the land/place of home meant to them and their people.”

Gallang Place Open Day

Gallang Place Launches a New Cultural and Healing Hub

Gallang Place has provided culturally appropriate counselling and healing services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in South East Queensland for 20 years.  After 17 years in their old Queenslander in West End they are now setting up a new Community Hub in Cannon Hill.

Noeleen Lopes, Gallang Place’s CEO said:

 “This is more than just an exciting new office, it’s a place where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations can share their ideas, culture and deliver programs to educate, support and heal our communities.”

This Community Hub will accommodate:

  • Culturally sensitive healing and counselling support services for families and individuals
  • A support team focussed on Indigenous youth at risk
  • Service teams to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders with persistent and severe mental health problems
  • Culturally sensitive counsellor training programs
  • BlackCard delivers Cultural Education and Training Workshops
  • Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service
  • Meeting and training rooms

Mundanara Bayles, CEO of BlackCard, added:

“This is a great new space that not only lets us work closely with other like-minded organisations, but gives our Elders a base to build community networks and supports.”

Marja Elizabeth, CEO of Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service, added:

“We are fortunate and happy to be working in partnership with Gallang in providing legal and support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children. The new facility demonstrates how Indigenous organisations from different sectors can work together collaboratively for the benefit of the community.”

The Hub is at 57 Southgate Ave, Cannon Hill and will hold an ‘open house’ Friday 4 July from 9:30 with the official launch at 10:00 am.

BlackCard – Gallang Place Report Launch

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Research Report Launch

Funded by Greater Metro South Brisbane Medicare Local BlackCard and Gallang Place undertook a research project into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health services in Brisbane South. The project consulted with Elders and community members to find ways of improving services to the community.

The launch was held at the QAIHC Offices in South Brisbane on June 4 2014 and was well attended by Elders, community members and a large number of representatives of NGOs and agencies involved in delivering mental health services.

Mundanar Bales, Managing Director of BlackCard said:

“This report will provide a cultural blueprint for everyone delivering any health or support services to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people – it’s a ‘must read'”

She went on to say:

“What makes this report unique is that it examines community issues from an ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Frame of Reference.”

BlackCard and Gallang Place praised their insight and support of Greater Metro South Brisbane Medicare Local for making this research possible.


Read the report

Check out BlackCard’s Website here