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The Winha-nga-nha List commences at Dubbo Children's Court

Today sees the introduction of the Winha-nga-nha* List - a dedicated court list for Aboriginal families involved in care proceedings at Dubbo Children's Court

This excellent development follows a co-design process with Aboriginal community reps and key stakeholders in response to Recommendation 125 of the Family is Culture Review Report. We are one of those key stakeholders, and the ALS will provide significant support for families in this list.

In a shift from list case management, the Winha-nga-nha List involves a Directions List that will involve short administrative mentions and a Conversations List where each case will be allocated at least 20 minutes of court time. The Conversations List will provide an opportunity for substantive issues to be discussed in a less formal setting.

The Winha-nga-nha List will:

  • explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural considerations;
  • involve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents and children in court proceedings;
  • include extended family members where appropriate;
  • help families to connect to local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community supports during care proceedings.

The Winha-nga-nha List will provide:

  • a less formal courtroom setting;
  • time to listen, talk and think about what is important for the children;
  • an Aboriginal Court Liaison Officer to support families who are involved with the Court.

The President of the Children's Court has issued Practice Note 18 – Winha-nga-nha List to support the operation of the list and a summary of the changes can be found in the Winha-nga-nha Factsheet.

The first sitting of the Winha-nga-nha List will be today Thursday 7 September 2023.

*Winha-nga-nha (pronounced Wi-nun-ga-na) is a word from the Wiradjuri language meaning to ‘know, think, remember’.  In the context of care proceedings in the Children’s Court it is to:

  • KNOW - the Aboriginal people, their families, children, community, their culture and what has brought them to where they are today
  • THINK – about how we can better support families and their children in a culturally appropriate court setting
  • REMEMBER – always remember the past and where we have come from

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