As the 30th anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody approaches (15 April), the health, social and justice sectors are encouraged to engage respectfully with the longstanding concerns being raised, and to amplify and listen to the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations.
The anniversary comes as families and communities mourn the deaths of five Indigenous people in custody in just over a month.
Following a National Day of Action this Saturday (10 April), two webinars will be held next week, with more detail available in the media statement below from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (NATSILS).
Surrounding the anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, which is on 15 April, NATSILS and families will host a series of webinars discussing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody, centering family members whose loved ones have lost their lives in custody.
The first webinar, on 12 April, will feature families whose loved ones have died in custody in a discussion about their loved ones, the Royal Commission recommendations, their ongoing fights for justice and accountability and their hopes and demands for the future.
The second webinar, on 15 April – the anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, will include Senator Patrick Dodson and Senator Lidia Thorpe alongside families whose loved ones have died in custody. The panelists will discuss what action needs to be taken urgently to stop our people dying in custody.
NATSILS has been working in support of fifteen families whose loved ones have died in custody, who have united together in solidarity, calling for an end to Black deaths in custody.
The families have come together in a show of formidable strength and power, and have created a petition calling on the Prime Minister to meet with them face to face in Canberra.
They are seeking answers as to why the Federal Government will not take action to stop our people dying in custody, and demand a commitment to work with them to implement the Royal Commission recommendations that have so far been ignored, and to make sure no other family ever has to experience their pain.
The petition has so far gathered over 15,700 signatures.
Link to sign the families petition.
Link to NATSILS website.
The webinar series will follow a Stop Aboriginal Deaths in Custody – National Day of Action on 10 April, with a series of protests and marches planned across the country. Sydney, Melbourne/Naarm and Brisbane/Meanjin events have been confirmed, with other cities to follow.
NATSILS has also partnered with a number of prominent universities around the country, who will screen the live webinar and activate an event involving local university and community members.
NATSILS STOP BLACK DEATHS IN CUSTODY WEBINARS
Monday, 12 April @ 6:00pm AEST
Hear from families whose loved ones have died in custody in discussion about their loved ones, the Royal Commission recommendations, their ongoing fights for justice and accountability and hopes and demands for the future.
Facilitator: Latoya Rule, sibling of Wayne Fella Morrison #JusticeforFella
Apryl Watson, daughter of Aunty Tanya Day #JusticeforTanyaDay
Makayla Reynolds, sister of Nathan Reynolds #justicefornathanreynolds
Rosemary Roe, Aunty of GJ Roe #JusticeForGJRoe
Webinar Registration Link.
Thursday, 15 April @ 1:00pm AEST
Hear from Senator Patrick Dodson and Senator Lidia Thorpe alongside families whose loved ones have died in custody as they discuss what action needs to be taken urgently to stop our people dying in custody.
Facilitator: Priscilla Atkins, NATSILS Co-Chair
Senator Patrick Dodson
Senator Lidia Thorpe
Troy Brady, nephew of Aunty Sherry Fisher-Tilberoo #JusticeForSherry
Nioka & Colin Chatfield, parents of Tane Chatfield #JusticeforTane
Webinar Registration Link.
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