NATWIT Youth Justice Detention


This activity occurred on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We acknowledge that their sovereignty has not been ceded and pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge that the youth justice system systematically disadvantages Aboriginal people and their communities and inflicts ongoing harm upon Aboriginal young people.

It was made possible with the support of funds from the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health ‘Pitch Scheme’.

We would also like to acknowledge the support of the Department of Youth Justice and Community Safety and Parkville College. In particular, we would like to thank Andrea Davidson and Leia Doherty for their generous support for this piece of work.

The project

Engaging children and young people in research can be challenging for researchers for a multitude of reasons, including difficulties in developing accessible information, challenges in getting informed consent, and keeping children and young people engaged over time. This is particularly challenging for children and young people in complex settings, such as youth justice detention facilities. Their voices have been noticeably absent from youth justice research and policy development, and they rarely inform the research, policies, or practices for and about them.

The current activity took a first step towards enhancing the engagements of children and young people in youth justice detention facilities in future research projects. We organised two  workshops with an existing leadership group of young people at the Parkville Youth Justice Precinct (PYJP) in Melbourne. During these workshops, we talked with several young people about their interests and priorities for future health and wellbeing research. This was not a research study, but an engagement activity led by researchers.

The main themes of these workshops has been made into artworks by Moey Eltom and represent young people’s views and ideas on research and making change within the youth justice system. These artworks will be used to encourage a more collaborative environment between researchers, the Department of Justice and Community Safety and the Parkville College Youth Leadership Council – which priortises research that is meaningful to justice-involved young people.

Below, you can access the artworks created by Moey Eltom (

  • Who participated in this project?

    This activity was led by Dr Sanne Oostermeijer and Dr Lucas Calais Ferreira, from the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, with support from A/Prof Diana Johns (School of Social and Political Sciences), Dr Sophie Rudolph (Melbourne Graduate School of Education), Prof Stuart Kinner (Curtin School of Population Health) and Dr Katitza Marinkovic (MSPGH).

    Across the two workshops, we engaged with a total of four young people. They were voluntary members of an existing leadership group of young people, the ‘Youth Leadership Council’ at the Parkville Youth Justice Precinct (PYJP) in Melbourne. This is a formal sub-committee of the Parkville College School Council. The four young people shared their views with Sanne, Lucas and artist Moey Eltom. To protect their privacy and confidentiality, their contributions are anonymous, but we acknowledge them as co-authors of this work.

  • Who created these illustrations?

    The artworks were created by Moey Eltom. They are digital artworks created by using digital technology. Moey was a co-facilitator during the workshops and both artworks were inspired by the input and conversations with the young people.

    The artworks were based on the concepts and ideas that were co-designed with young people who were part of the Parkville Youth Justice Precinct’s  (PYJC) Youth Leadership Group.

    You can follow Moey’s work on TikTok, Facebook and

  • Where can I get more information?

    If you have any questions about this project, please contact Dr Sanne Oostermeijer

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