Martu Patrol: Working together to support young people

Key Milestone

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Key Milestone

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Key Milestone

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Keeping Martu youth safe.

The Opportunity

In 2021, in response to increasing antisocial behaviour and crime, Creating Communities worked alongside Newman Womens Shelter (NWS), WA Police and the Newman Feedback Group to collaborate in new ways to keep young Martu people safe.

The community had experienced a recent increase in anti-social behaviour and crime and were seeking a community-led approach to support young people who were street present due to complex issues stemming from barriers in housing, health and education.

While there were existing service providers supporting young people in Newman, the need for an out-of-hours, collaborative approach was identified to help keep Martu young people safe.

Martu Patrol: Working together to support young people


Creating Communities worked closely with NWS and KJ, WA Police and the Newman Feedback Group to develop Martu Patrol as a rapid response program to address antisocial behaviour and crime by providing support to young Martu people.

The concept of a Martu Patrol was not a new idea. Martu and stakeholders in Newman had advocated for the project for many, many years and the project had already been recognised in the Newman Futures strategy as a future project for design and development.

A combination of the local context, strong collaborative relationships and a common vision meant the environment was right to co-design Martu Patrol in June 2021.

Bringing systems level thinking and strategic program design, informed by our 3D model, we used our long-standing, trusted relationships with the local community to connect with Martu, coming together for numerous full-day meetings to develop Martu Patrol and other programs to support young people.

Involving Martu throughout the process was critical to the design of the program. Sitting together at the local park, at community BBQs and in the local community hall, we explored the Martu Patrol concept, discussing kinship, culture and how these important factors could shape the approach. Together we developed flow-charts to  map the journey of a young person in Newman, taking systems level approach to ensure Martu Patrol would complement existing services in the community.

Using the Creating Communities’ Rope Model, we worked together with local stakeholders to multiply our impact by guiding partnerships and coordinating collective actions to help support local young people.

Through this approach, we were able to confirm the need for Martu Patrol, co-design the pilot program, and assist NWS and KJ to establish Martu Patrol as an action-research project.

NWS was identified as the lead agency to deliver the pilot due to their expertise in case management and trusted relationships within the community. Working in collaboration with KJ, NWS employed Martu to staff the patrol, both providing new employment pathways for Martu and ensuring young people were able to connect with trusted adults with whom they could share language and culture. In a short period of time with the collective effort of local organisations, a 12-seater bus and a dedicated space for Martu Patrol was sourced and the Patrol was up and running.

Our Opportunity Model reveals that lasting solutions are possible through uniting the interests of local stakeholders. To further support the delivery of Martu Patrol, Creating Communities progressed a partnership with Compass Group, a Food and Support Service Company operating local FIFO villages, to provide surplus food from the villages to the project. This has helped to deliver mutually beneficial outcomes by reducing food wastage in the village and redirecting it to those in need.

Once the design of the project were established, activities were undertaken to commence the change-making process. As the project was established as an action-research project, Creating Communities have remained as a support agency to the project. Providing guidance and support on partnerships, sustainability planning, training and monitoring and evaluation.

Every night you will see Martu Patrol driving in Newman, stopping to check in on young people, providing them with a hot meal, water and transport to a safe space.


After two years of delivery, Martu Patrol has proven an impactful measure in supporting young people in Newman, a result of the collaborative actions of Martu and local agencies in developing, piloting and successfully delivering the project.

For Creating Communities, co-designing and kick starting a project isn’t where our work ends. We’re deeply committed to working alongside community programs to ensure future sustainability. Since its inception, we have worked closely with NWS to build the foundations to ensure the future success of Martu Patrol through supporting collaboration, training opportunities and amplifying the program’s impact. In addition, Creating Communities developed an automated reporting tool to allow Martu Patrol to streamline their reporting process and have access to automated data visualisation. Consistent monitoring and evaluation have ensured data and metrics are readily available to inform future program design, help secure future program funding and support the development of positive narratives.

Through a recent program evaluation undertaken by Creating Communities, in consultation with Martu staff, local stakeholders and community members, it was found Martu Patrol was successful in improving the safety of at-risk young people and has led to improved health and wellbeing outcomes for young Martu people. Martu Patrol continues to go from strength to strength, expanding to deliver and support other diversionary programs for young people to further engage and build trust with local young people and service providers.


Here at Creating Communities we walk alongside local organisations to help realise and achieve the bigger picture. We work with the capabilities of stakeholders to support them in achieving big and small change in their community.

Part of our role in supporting local communities is identifying pathways for training and development. Using our extensive network of relationships, we supported NWS and KJ is partnering with state wide services to provide extensive training and development to Martu Patrol staff. We have also assisted Martu Patrol in exploring further funding opportunities, while our Communications team has played an important role in communicating the project’s impact.

Martu Night Patrol is the result of collective action, with a shared goal. It’s the result of a group of passionate, committed community members determined to help not only young people, but the whole community.

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