By Kiara Davies
Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Islander People are warned that the following article contains text, images and video of First Peoples who have died.
It’s been less than three weeks since the Australian public rejected our voice. It has been less than three weeks since this country rejected to acknowledge the 60,000 years of history. And in the time since this country rejected us, we are reminded of how the racism in this country is lethal.
The majority of the country has moved on and felt satisfied at the outcome of the referendum, while the majority of First Nations people have mourned. An outstretched hand was slapped away and told to move on, but we cannot move on. In the weeks since the referendum, tragic events have taken place reminding us of the injustices endured by our people – at the hands of those who rejected ours.
Youth death in custody
A 16-year-old Aboriginal boy has died after being held in a juvenile detention unit at Casuarina prison, Western Australia. The young boy was suffering, his family pleaded to have him removed from Unit 18 as they feared for his life. The lack of response from the department is neglect – this could have been prevented. Our deepest sympathies go to the family who have suffered this tragedy.
Too often our people die from suicide and according to the Closing the Gap data (reference below), this is only worsening. This is not good enough.
Wiradjuri man Jack Wighton and Birpi and Wiradjuri man Latrell Mitchell were arrested after false allegations were made by senior police officer Sergeant David Power. These charges have been dropped since Power came forward and admitted to lying under oath. This perfectly displays the power structures and discrimination that First Nations people deal with constantly. These men were betrayed by the justice system, it isn’t the first time this has happened and unfortunately, it won’t be the last.
Private Security and Brutality
Private policing and brutality committed by government paid security sounds like a dystopian horror, but it is all too real in the Northern Territory. Four Corners released a segment on this last night detailing the horrors first nations people have encountered at the hands of private policing. The segment is called “Guarded: Private security policing the public” and can be found here https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-30/guarded:-private-security-policing-the-public/103041420. Contains graphic and disturbing scenes, watch with caution.
It has been less than three weeks, and three disturbing truths are already evident. The no outcome has led us right back to where we started, if not further behind. First Nations people are suffering, being ignored or are unfairly targeted. We are tired of the violence, and we are tired of the neglect.
We had a solution, we asked for a voice. Are you listening yet?
SUPPORT: 24/7 crisis support is available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through 13 YARN (13 92 76). If you need support or are feeling worried, please contact 13 YARN and talk with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Crisis Supporter.