The Balund-a Program is an innovative residential diversionary program for male and female offenders between 18 and 40 years of age. Located at Tabulam, within the Bundjalung Nation, the program’s aim is to reduce re-offending and enhance skills within a cultural and supportive community environment. The Aboriginal name, Bugilmah Burube Wullinje Balund-a roughly translates as “Be good now you have a second chance down by the river”.
Offenders enter the program as a condition of a section 11 bond for an initial assessment period of 2 weeks. Following acceptance into the program offenders participate in structured programs within a culturally sensitive framework. Programs address specific areas of risk to assist on improving life skills and reintegration into the community, for example, cognitive based programs, drug and alcohol, anger management, education and employability, domestic violence, parenting skills and living skills. Cultural activities include excursions to sacred sites, music, dance and art. Elders employed by the program provide support and assist resident to recognise, restore and value cultural links with their land and history.
The property is situated on 534 hectares and also operates as a farming and beef cattle property giving the residents the opportunity to develop agricultural skills. The length of stay at the program varies according to individual needs however a minimum period of 6 months is required.
While a focus of the program is to reduce re-offending, and thereby the incarceration rate of Aboriginal people, the program is available to all within the catchment area from Tweed, out to Armidale/Tamworth/Moree and south to Taree/Foster.
Address186 Welsh Road
Mookima Wybra via
TABULAM NSW 2469
Phone: (02) 6660 8600
Fax: (02) 6660 8636
How to Get There
Northern Rivers Community Transport (02) 66280260
From Casino head west along Bruxner Hwy, 56.4km to Tabulam, cross the Clarence River Bridge continue west for approx 2.5km, turn left at Plains Station Rd, Travel 20km, turn left at Welsh Rd, travel 1.8km to Balund-a.
From Grafton head towards Casino on Summerland Way, turn left at Grafton-Tabulam Rd, travel 4.7km and turn right at Coaldale Rd, Mountain View and travel 47.2km, turn right at Clarence Way, Upper Fine Flower and travel 37.4km. Turn left at Top Plains Rd, (the sign says Ewingar) travel 2.9km and turn right at Welsh Rd, travel 1.8km to Balund-a.
From Tenterfield turn off New England Hwy into High St, (sign says Casino/Lismore) continue along Bruxner Hwy 68km, turn right at Plains Station Rd, travel 20km, turn left at Welsh Rd, travel 1.8km to Balund-a.
Bookings for visits are required 48 hours in advance. Phone Balund-a on (02) 6660 8619 Visit times
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 9am-3pm.
Conditions of visits
- Adult visitors are required to bring photo identification and all visitors are to remain only in designated areas.
- Residents are allowed up to 4 adult visitors and their children at any one time.
- Visitors may bring a picnic lunch, food and non-alcoholic drinks. Residents will not be permitted to take food/drink items back to their accommodation.
- There are vending machines where cold drinks and snacks can be purchased. No change is available at Balund-a. Visitors must have enough coins for use during the visit.
Children and other family members in locations remote from Balund-a can now ‘visit’ their relatives via video conference. Phone Balund-a on (02) 6660 8600 to arrange a booking.
Legal practitioners may visit 7 days. Notification of intention to visit is requested by telephoning Balund-a on (02) 6660 8600 24 hours prior to ensure the resident’s availability. Legal access is also available via Audio Visual Link.
- Getting SMART (Drug and Alcohol)
- Pathways (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
- Managing Emotions
- Domestic Abuse Program
- Accredited courses through TAFE, ACE and other service providers
- Cultural Activities - weekend activities (excursions to sacred sites, stories, music, dance, art) facilitated by Elders
- Hey Dad - parenting program
- Rights and Responsibilities
- Laundry logistics, and a number of hygiene programs
- Farming and agricultural skills, including animal husbandry
- Catering skills, including food handling and hygiene
Residents are involved in maintaining and enhancing the grounds and buildings.
Accredited courses, with nationally recognised qualifications, are made available to inmates at each correctional centre.
The Adult Education and Vocational Training Institute (AEVTI) provides literacy, numeracy and communications courses in all centres. Many centres also offer vocational courses such as Information Technology, Horticulture, Construction, Visual Arts and Contemporary Craft.
AEVTI contracts TAFE NSW and other providers to deliver courses in a range of vocational areas such as Hospitality, Business Skills, Building, Cleaning, Transport, Aboriginal Studies, Horticulture and various WorkCover licenses.
AEVTI also co-ordinates traineeships and offers support for distance education.
Each centre has a library giving inmates access to a range of fiction, non-fiction and reference books. Inmates can also login to a secure internal network called the Inmate Legal Portal which gives them access to material of a legal nature.
For more information regarding these programs visit the AEVTI WebPage.
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