Philip Brown

I am a Aboriginal man who was born in Darwin Hospital at Mylly Point and a descendant of the Stolen Generation.  My Great Grandmother was removed from her community and placed in Kahlin Compound in Darwin.

My Great Grandmother country is the Wadeye/Nauiyu region, an area called Rak Tjindi (Chindi) near the Moyle River, also known as the black soil plains, where she roamed between those communities and other outlying outstations before being removed and placed in Kahlin Coumpound.

Kahlin Compound was an institution for part- Aboriginal people in Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia between 1913 and 1939, where the Protector of Aborigines Baldwin Spencer at the time decided to solve what he called the “’half-caste’ problem by rounding up hundreds of Aboriginal Children and removing them from the adults and placing them into Kahlin Compound.

I attended various primary schools in Darwin from 1966 through to 1970 and then my family moved to Qld where I completed senior schooling.  After school, I worked on the Qld Railways prior to returning to Darwin when I was 19.

In Darwin, I enjoyed playing Australian Rules and Rugby League for local Darwin clubs and represented the Northern Territory Rugby League against Great Britain in 1984.

I commenced employment in the Northern Territory Public Sector (NTPS) in 1985 with over 30 years of experience commencing as a Prison Officer and progressed  through the ranks of Chief Prison Officer in 1997, Acting Superintendent Darwin Correctional Centre in 2004 to Superintendent of Alice Springs Correctional Centre in 2006.

In 2012 to 2014 I was appointed as the Executive Director Adult Custodial Operations and performed relieving duties as Acting Commissioner of Northern territory Correctional Services on several occasions during this period.

My roles and responsibilities included the management of the adult correctional centres and throughout my career while working in a custodial environment, I led by example and I was a great role model to all staff and community, but my most honourable personal trait was that I always displayed empathy towards my fellow colleagues as a Prison Officer then as senior officer as I rose through the ranks to Executive Director.  This empathy was also displayed to the prisoners in Correctional Services care.

In 2011, I presented the Australian Jurisdictional Reports to the Asian and Pacific Correctional Administrators Conference in Japan, and again in Brunei in 2012.

In 2014, I undertook a 12 month secondment to CatholicCare NT under the NT Government “Broadening our Horizons” development program for senior executives. During this time, I worked in the Strong Men’s Program which included promoting the

‘NO MORE’ to family violence campaign in remote Aboriginal communities.

After my secondment with CatholicCare NT, I was then appointed by the then Chief Minister as the Director of the Indigenous Employment and Career Development (IECD) Division within the Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment.

The IECD Division was established in January 2015 and is responsible for driving the implementation of the NTPS Indigenous Employment and Career Development Strategy 2015-2020 (the strategy) as well as to provide guidance and support to all agencies on increasing and retaining Indigenous employees across the NTPS.

This certainly was a challenge from working in one department for 28 years to working across 33 government departments.

As an Aboriginal man born in the Darwin and I am very passionate about NT Correctional Services. The Northern Territory Correctional Centres has one of the highest incarceration rates of Aboriginal people of approx. 85%.

The Northern Territory Government has introduced a Aboriginal Justice Agreement and over the next seven years, the aims are to:

  • Reduce reoffending and imprisonment rates of Aboriginal Territorians
  • Engage and support Aboriginal leadership
  • Improve justice responses and services to Aboriginal Territorians.

I am a member on the Aboriginal Justice Agreement Governance Committee that oversees the implementation of the Aboriginal Justice Agreement.

I am confident with over thirty years of broad experience working in Northern Territory Correctional Services and Northern Territoy Government, and now in a senior executive role within the non-government sector CatholicCare NT, working in the social services area, I will contribute to the aims of reducing the high incarceration rates of Aboriginal people and reducing Aboriginal people coming into the justice system in the Territory.