Ms Selba Luka1, Dr. Gerald Onsando2
1Afri-aus Care Inc., Dandenong, Australia,
2University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Over the years, the number of African Australians in contact with the Victorian justice system is gradually increasing. Yet, there is little understanding or practice knowledge about the needs and challenges they face, both in prison and in the community following their release. The Black Rhinos Basketball Program is a community crime prevention program in the City of Greater Dandenong that is funded by DPC through Basketball Victoria and managed by Afri-Aus Care Inc. The Black Rhinos Basketball Program, informed by the principles of Ubuntu and Positive Change Model, provides holistic resettlement and reintegration case management support to young African Australians who are at risk of offending or reoffending. The African philosophy of Ubuntu is an understanding that humanity of the self is promoted through the humanity of others and is often described by the maxim “I am, because we are; and since we are, therefore I am”. Using the concept of Ubuntu, we will reference the Black Rhinos Basketball Program to discuss about experiences, perspectives, and culturally specific support for African Australians in and out of Victorian prisons.
Selba Gondonza Luka is CEO/Ffounder of Afri-Aus Care Inc. and Cco-founder of the Black Rhinos Basketball Club, based in Dandenong (SE Melbourne). Afri-Aus Care provides Cculturally specific support services to African-Australian youth at risk and families through sport, education, family connectedness programs, job pathways and women’s and men’s programs, sport in prison and the community. Originally from Malawi, and with a professional background as a Mental Health Clinician, Selba is a member of the Victorian Government’s African Australian Community Task Force and the Victorian Multicultural Commission Regional Advisory Committee. Inspired by her experiences of long-term domestic abuse and repairing a fractured family relationship, Selba founded Afri-Aus Care in 2015.
Dr Gerald Onsando is the 2018 winner of David Biles Correctional Research Award. Dr Onsando is an active member of the African community in Victoria and an experienced researcher and program evaluator. He has significant experience in engaging with African communities in sociocultural, leadership, research, and evaluation contexts. Dr Onsando has published widely and presented research findings about African communities’ resettlement outcomes in Australia, including a research about ‘Experiences and perspectives of African prisoners in Victoria’. Dr Onsando is currently evaluating the Black Rhinos Basketball Program, a crime prevention program that supports African Australians at risk of offending or reoffending.