16th Reintegration Puzzle Conference

Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
1-3 March 2023

Changing Seasons,
Changing Lives

Reintegration – Reducing Reoffending in the Aboriginal Population

The Initial Transitional Support (ITS) service is funded by Community Corrections state-wide across NSW. arbias has specialist Case Workers in 17 sites from Wollongong in the south to Wagga Wagga in the west and Lismore in the north. The ITS team, in partnership with Community Corrections staff, has had significant success in reducing offending within this cohort. However, there are challenges in achieving the same success with parolees who are from Aboriginal community.

arbias’ experience is one where outcomes such as developing a trusting relationship (buy in) between the Case Manager and the person, meeting the tasks (goals) in the case plan and subsequently reducing reoffending must be done by understanding the cultural sensitivities of Aboriginal community specific to local areas and imbedding practice in collaboration with local Aboriginal Elders, services and agencies. One of the strategies critical to success is employing Case Managers who have Aboriginal heritage.

This presentation will explore the necessary arrangements and conditions required to bring about successful outcomes for Aboriginal people who interface with the justice system, why the outcomes are poorer when these conditions are not implemented and present data that supports these findings. Comparisons between outcomes at sites with Aboriginal and non Aboriginal Case Workers will be explored drawing out the conditions implemented and outcomes for the parolees who receive the intervention.


John Eyre
Chief Executive Officer
, arbias Ltd

Career summary:
John began his journey with disability services in 1976, as a direct support worker in residential care, Department of Human Services, Victoria; 2019 being his 43nd year supporting people with a disability, Acquired Brain Injury and High Complex needs and people who interface with the Justice system.

John transitioned from the public to the not for profit sector in in 2005 and commenced with arbias Ltd in 2006. Since 2007 he has held the role of Chief Executive Officer at arbias and has been instrumental in progressing advocacy and awareness raising for people with an ABI and high complex needs including folk with the comorbidities of alcohol and drug and mental health issues.

John has overseen the growth in arbias services from a Victorian based service to one with a national spread and in doing so seen arbias grow to a staffing team of 100+ and a revenue of $9M to deliver the programs and services.

The future:
John sees the biggest challenge in current times as the growing trends in Offending behaviour; the impact on community safety and cost to government making Offender support programs key to the suite of strategies in reducing recidivism.

Bachelor Applied Science (Equivalent) Disability and Community studies with specialisation in Learning Disabilities.

Post Graduate studies in Leadership and Management – Australian Institute of Management.