Elders play key role in giving young Indigenous people hope and keeping them out of jail | ABC News

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  • ABC News (Australia) published this video item, entitled “Elders play key role in giving young Indigenous people hope and keeping them out of jail | ABC News” – below is their description.

    Jahmarley Dawson had a growth removed from his brain and the back of his head was still healing when he found himself in a dangerous situation.

    A security guard put him in a headlock during a drunken night of celebration in Sydney, and the young Indigenous Queenslander responded out of pain and fear.

    “It actually put a lot of strain on my head. [I] actually bit the guy on the arm,” Mr Dawson admitted.

    He was charged with public drunkenness and assault for biting the man’s arm, despite it arguably being in self-defence.

    “I knew that straight away, maybe I might be getting locked up. I tell you what, I would have ended up in jail for sure,” Mr Dawson said.

    But because the matter was heard in Brisbane by an understanding Brisbane magistrate, he has been given a second chance with support from Indigenous elders.

    Mr Dawson was sentenced in the Murri Court and has been doing programs with community elders.

    But that doesn’t necessarily mean he got an easy run.

    “It’s not just getting them a ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ card, going through the Murri Court,” Indigenous elder ‘Auntie’ Colleen McLennan explained.

    “They have to put in the hard yards and they have to show us that they’re willing to improve their life.”

    ABC News (Australia) YouTube Channel

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    Sydney, capital of New South Wales and one of Australia‘s largest cities, is best known for its harbourfront Sydney Opera House, with a distinctive sail-like design.

    • Population: 5.23 million (2018)

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