Victoria's upper house passes spent convictions scheme

Victoria’s Upper House passes spent convictions scheme

On Thursday, the Victorian Upper House passed the Spent Convictions Bill, making it the last state to introduce such a scheme.

The scheme means that eligible minor convictions become ‘spent’ and won’t appear on a police check after 10 years – or 5 years for a juvenile conviction provided there is no reoffending.

The scheme also introduces a law that makes discrimination on the basis of spent convictions unlawful.

Old offences resurfacing

Naomi Murphy was preparing to fly to Hawaii to watch her young daughter compete in an international netball tournament when her plans were stopped short due to a minor criminal offence from over 10 years ago.

“I was shattered. My 11-year-old was hysterical and the thought of sending her overseas without me was so scary,” she told the ABC.

Ms Murphy was a child born to the mother from the Stolen Generations, and she struggled to navigate the by-products of intergenerational trauma.

“I became very disconnected from my culture and very angry at the poverty and family violence I was experiencing so, to numb the pain, I began experimenting with drugs and alcohol, which escalated when I was a young adult and led to petty theft for survival,” she told the ABC.

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