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Aunty Lynne Killeen

A committed community Elder maintaining culture and connections for Aboriginal women in custody

Aunty Lynne Killeen - 2019 Victorian Honour Roll of Women inductee
Local Champion

Aunty Lynne Killeen knows the Aboriginal women at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre (DPFC) inside out. She has been Aboriginal Wellbeing Officer for the centre since it was established in 1996 (originally as the Deer Park Metropolitan Women’s Correctional Centre) and is a respected Elder in her own community.

As Aboriginal women come into custody, Lynne meets with each one, helps them settle in and provides guidance and cultural support throughout their incarceration. She helps the women maintain family and cultural ties and supports their extended families. She also encourages other community Elders to attend DPFC to provide additional support.

Lynne helps the women navigate the prison’s processes and ensures they are referred to appropriate support services.

She provides support to women attending court, parole board hearings and local disciplinary processes, and helps women prepare for their release and transition to local Aboriginal

Lynne is a strong advocate for the Aboriginal women at DPFC and has driven a number of initiatives. With her support and input, the quality of Aboriginal education programs at DPFC has increased, resulting in increased attendance and improved literacy and numeracy skills. Lynne also forged a partnership with Elizabeth Hoffman House resulting in the first family violence counselling program for Aboriginal women at DPFC.

Lynne is responsible for coordinating all NAIDOC Week activities at DPFC and has organised radio station 3CR’s annual broadcast, Beyond the Bars, since its inception in 2002. Beyond the Bars is Australia’s only live prison radio broadcast giving a voice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inmates.

Aunty Lynne’s support and dedication to the Aboriginal women at DPFC ensures that they have a voice, community connections and cultural support.

She is a great asset to both the centre and the women she supports.