The System is Broken

It’s been 12 months today since the ABC’s Four Corners program shocked the nation when it shone light on the horrific abuse of children at the NT’s Don Dale youth detention centre.

Few people would forget the sickening image of a young Aboriginal child Dylan Voller hooded and shackled to a chair at Don Dale.

Thousands of our supporters took action over a 24 hour period which helped force the federal government to establish the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.

The interim report of the Royal Commission uncovered further cases of abuse in the NT, but as we said when the Royal Commission was announced, the locking up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids - at 24 times the rate of other Australian children - is a national shame requiring a national response.

In the last 12 months we’ve seen and heard distressing allegations of physical and sexual abuse in Cleveland Detention centre in Queensland, Barwon prison in Victoria, Bimberi detention centre in the ACT and Reiby detention centre in NSW.

And these are only the cases that make it into the public arena.

This is a national issue, requiring a nationally coordinated response by the Federal Government working with State and Territory governments. The time for buck passing is over.

Tell our government it’s time to show some leadership and work with First Peoples, States and Territories to develop a national action plan to close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration.

How many more children will be abused before the government acts?

Thank you for supporting justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

In Solidarity,

Andrew Meehan 

National Director ANTaR