Welcome to NAAJA
The North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) delivers high quality and culturally proficient Aboriginal legal services to the Top End of the Northern Territory.
Our Vision is True Justice, Dignity and Respect for Aboriginal people.
Our Mission is to deliver a range of innovative, high quality, culturally proficient legal services to Aboriginal people and the community.
NAAJA CONGRATULATES PRINCIPAL LEGAL OFFICER – DAVID WOODROFFE
David Woodroffe is descended from the Jingilli Modburra clan group whose traditional lands are at Newcastle Waters 300 kilometres south of Katherine in black soil country.
David’s passion and vision has seen him succeed as a lawyer, an advocate and a leader for his people. His dedication and skill in these roles has earned him the respect of his colleagues and the communities in which he has worked.
David was the Managing Criminal Solicitor for the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, a position he has held since 2010. David managed the largest criminal defence practice in the Northern Territory.
He led a team that provides high quality, culturally appropriate legal services for Aboriginal people and advocates to change to laws, programs and policies that affect Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system
David has worked for over 16 years in five different Aboriginal legal organisations: the North Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service in Darwin, the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service in Alice Springs, the Katherine Regional Aboriginal Legal Aid Service in Katherine, the Aboriginal Legal Service Western Australia in Kununurra and currently the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) in Darwin.
In each legal environment, David has established and built upon his reputation for incredible hard work on behalf of his clients and a passion for protecting and promoting the rights of Indigenous people.
We are really excited to have David as our new Principal Legal Officer.
NAAJA FAREWELLS JONATHON HUNYOR
Jonathon Hunyor has been the Principal Legal Officer for more than six years. He was previously the Director of Legal Services at the Australian Human Rights Commission and has worked as a lawyer with the Central Land Council in Alice Springs and the NT Legal Aid Commission in Darwin.
Jonathon is a University Fellow at Charles Darwin University and lectured in Discrimination and the Law at the University of NSW between 2006 and 2010. He has published articles in academic and professional journals on a range of topics including criminal law, refugee law, coronial law, native title, discrimination and human rights.
Jonathon was awarded the CLANT “The Gong” at the 2015 CLANT Conference. Past recipients have been Suzan Cox QC, Rex Wild QC, Jon Tippett QC and Russell Goldflam.
Jonathon Hunyor’s contribution to criminal law in the Northern Territory has been outstanding, particularly as a strategic litigator, both in court and behind the scenes, involving issues including, but not limited to:
- Mandatory sentencing (including: The Queen v Duncan  NTCCA 2 (junior to Georgiou SC);Dhamarrandji v Curtis  NTSC 39; Orsto v Grotherr  NTSC 18; Leo v The Queen  NTCCA 8 (junior to Wyvill SC))
- Part IIA Criminal Code Supervision Orders
- Civil detention of serious sex offenders (Attorney-General of the Northern Territory v EE  NTCA 1 (junior to Wild QC))
- Challenge to the validity of the Alcohol Protection Orders Act 2013 (NT) (including Nummar v Pennuto & Ors  NTSC 34 (instructing Wyvill SC))
- Challenge to the validity of the “Paperless arrests” provisions of the Police Administration Act (NT)
He has also published widely including:
- Imprison me NT (2015 CLANT conference)
- Territory Lifestyle: Behind Bars? (2013 NTCOSS conference)
- A Kangaroo Loose in the Top Paddock – Criminal Justice, Mental Impairment and Fitness for Trial in the Northern Territory (2012 Uluru Criminal Law conference)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and Access to Justice (2012 Commonwealth Regional Law Conference)
- A judge short of a full bench – mental impairment and fitness to plead in the NT criminal legal system with Michelle Swift (2011 CLANT conference)
- ‘The Court is that way’ – some thoughts on responding to recruitment and retention challenges (2011 National Legal Aid Best Practice Conference)
- Is it time to re-think special measures under the Racial Discrimination Act? The case of the Northern Territory Intervention (2009) 14(2)AJHR 39
- Custom and Culture in Bail and Sentencing: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?  IndigLawB 43
- Don’t jail the ferryman: the sentencing of Indonesian people movers (CLANT 2001 conference)
- Mandatory Sentencing & the concentration of powers with Russell Goldflam (1999 CLANT conference)
- The Northern Territory Duty Lawyer Handbook (principal editor)
Jonathon will be greatly missed by everyone at NAAJA.
NAAJA KATHERINE’S NATASHA CHONG WINS NATSIL AWARD
A huge congratulations to Natasha Chong (“Chongy”) on winning the 2016 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS), Trevor Christianson award.
NAAJA Chairperson, Vernon Patullo accepted the award on behalf of Chongy at the recent NATSILS meeting in Adelaide.
Chongy is a Wakka Wakka woman from Mareeba, Queensland. She was born in Darwin and raised in Katherine. For the past 3 years she has been the Senior Client Services Officer in NAAJA’s Katherine office. Put simply, Chongy is the indispensable link between our clients and lawyers. She ensures our clients understand the legal system, and lawyers understand our clients.
Chongy knows everyone and everyone knows her. She works miracles tracking down people and
no-one questions her authority. Such is her reverence in the community that she is treated like an oracle by clients, family, lawyers, and Magistrates alike.
She demonstrates an exceptional commitment to the rights of Aboriginal people on a daily basis. She works intensively with those most in need, particularly young people, in a way that goes beyond her job description and hours of employment. Such is her commitment to Aboriginal people of the Katherine region that she spends much of her own time assisting other local agencies to help her people. All of this while juggling the challenges of being a single mother of a large family. She is truly exceptional.