We established the Magnolia Practice Guide project to support mental health professionals who act as expert witnesses in court to strengthen the cultural content of their reports. In partnership with the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement (SA), we have been developing materials that present information about cultural safety and social and emotional well-being and why this is relevant to sentencing decisions.
- Why we want to do this. Cultural safety is a crucial aspect of trauma-informed practice. Yet, many expert reports submitted to court fail to acknowledge its significance both to legal decision-making and to support people to lead law-abiding lives in the community.
- What is involved. We are working with leading forensic mental health professionals in South Australia to publish a Practice Guide that can offer support to expert witnesses. This includes some of the principles that underpin practice in this area, core knowledge and information about local Aboriginal culture, and a description of some of the skills required to work effectively with people who identify as from First Nations cultural backgrounds. We welcome feedback about this work once published and/or contributions that can further strengthen the Guide going forward.
The PDF version of the Guide can be accessed here. It is designed to be printed in A5 size.
The artwork on the cover of this Practice Guide is by Roger Williams, who is a Wirangu man from Far West Coast. We thank Roger and the staff at the Port Augusta Prison Aboriginal Accommodation Unit for their permission to use this beautiful painting as our cover. Roger’s art is vibrant and alive and resonates with our choice of the Magnolia as the symbol for our work.
If you would like a hard copy of the Guide, please donate AUD $25.00 to our GoFundMe page and email your postage details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The $25.00 covers the cost of printing and postage.
If you are outside Australia, please email us for a postage quote before purchase.