Maranguka’s data sharing and collaboration is an enabler to ‘break the circuit’

Alister Ferguson is leading Maranguka. Determined to ‘break the circuit’ of disadvantage and incarceration, he is now overseeing the Justice Reinvestment project.

“Kids were being taken away. Too many of my community were being locked up. Families were being shattered, again and again,” he said

“We developed Maranguka with a clear focus on creating better coordinated support to vulnerable families and children in Bourke build a new accountability framework which wouldn’t let our kids slip through.” said Alister.

With crime and incarceration rates far too high in Bourke, Alister looked to Justice Reinvestment as a solution – finding ways to shift resources out of the prison and criminal justice system into communities to support early intervention, crime prevention and diversion.

Alister contacted Just Reinvest NSW in 2012 to discuss how they could help young people in Bourke. This led to Just Reinvest holding a series of ‘data conversation’ meetings in Bourke with around 60 community members. The result was universal agreement that the community wanted to prioritise what was happening with kids and young people to create a safer community.

With the efforts made now starting to take effect, Alister believes that Bourke could become own of the safest communities in Australia and is working to fulfil that vision.

Sarah Hopkins from Just Reinvest NSW believes there is much to be learnt by the work being done in Bourke.

“What other communities can learn from what’s happening in Bourke is that data informs meaningful conversations and meaningful conversations lead to better decision making.”

The volume of local data that has been collected in Bourke is unprecedented and tells many stories about how the community is fairing in terms of education, employment, housing, health, child safety and crime.

The data, paired with community feedback, has been handed over to community members and the Bourke Tribal Council and continues to inform the development of goals, measures and strategies for Maranguka.

Maranguka is also part of the Stronger Places, Stronger People (SPSP) Initiative which is aims to demonstrate how collective impact can interrupt disadvantage and create better futures for children and their families.

There will be 10 demonstration communities of which Bourke is one of 7 announced so far. Seer has been the data partner, working with Clear Horizon, to deliver the Measurement, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) support for three of the SPSP communities – Logan Together, Burnie Works and Maranguka Community Hub.

Maranguka, means ‘caring for others’ in Ngemba language, and is built around Indigenous self-governance in partnership with relevant Government and Non-Government agencies.

Bourke Shire Stats

  • 800kms Northwest of Sydney
  • 2,465 Bourke Shire population
  • 30.9% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • 25 Median Age of Indigenous population
  • 33.7% of Indigenous population are children aged 0-14 years
Kristi Mansfield - Co-founder and CEO

Kristi Mansfield

Seer Data & Analytics