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The 2024 Asia - Pacific Juvenile Justice Conference is scheduled to be held on February 21-23, 2024 at the Hilton 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. This conference is a prelude to the much larger 2025 Global Juvenile Justice Conference planned to be held at a Pacific rim nation which will be announced at the Cairns conference based on received request for proposals from countries and venues in the South Pacific rim region.

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 Asia-Pacific 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.

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