Although Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults make up about 3% of Australia’s population, they constitute more than 30% of the national prison population.

About 90% of these prisoners are male, and most of them have been in prison before.

The impact of this disproportionate, recurrent incarceration is devastating to Aboriginal families and communities.

That’s why Warrigunya was formed.

Warrigunya is a nonprofit organisation based in central Gippsland whose goal is to support Aboriginal men that come out of prison to achieve a healthier lifestyle, focus on their personal goals and create a future without prison.

Building a New Home

One of the biggest problems for men coming out of prison is often a lack of stable and supportive accommodation options.

And so Warrigunya is currently in the process of building an eight-unit residential facility on a 20-acre site at Darriman, south of Sale, to provide safe and affordable housing for Aboriginal men released from prison who are serious about turning their lives around.

Uncle Alan Coe, who is a board member of Warrigunya and a driving force behind the project, has spent many years as a mentor for the men in the nearby Fulham Correction Centre.

‘I ask the men who I see come back to Fulham: what happened?’ Uncle Al said earlier this year.

‘It’s always the same story – they have nowhere to go when they’re let out apart from going back into the same places that got them in trouble in the first place. It’s not long before they’re slipping back into old habits with old acquaintances and then they’re right back inside.”

Uncle Alan says Warrigunya will also provide self-determined, tailored and supported plans to assist participants to achieve their goals, and engagement with training providers and employers.

“It will give them the ability to take action and control back in their lives, to help them in healing and restoring,” he says. “Our vision is it will be a space to reconnect to country, culture, family, and themselves, foremost. Given the Closing the Gap policy, Warrigunya can be a place where our men can take control in doing this for themselves.”

To learn more visit

Related posts