2022 Federal Election Scorecard
In this 2022 Federal Election Scorecard, ANTaR has provided a guide to the policies of the Liberal-National Coalition, the Australian Labor Party and the Greens, in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. We’ve provided Australian voters with an independent assessment of Federal Election platforms for 25 years, elevating issues of justice, rights and respect for First Nations Peoples.Read(pdf 356.38 KB)
SUBMISSION: Criminal Law (Raising the Age of Responsibility) Amendment Bill 2021 (QLD)
ANTaR notes that should this Amendment Bill pass, Queensland (QLD) would join the Australian Capital Territory in being the leading jurisdictions in Australia to pursue this important legislative change. We appreciate the need to consider and deliberate the best way to protect young children from adverse and damaging interaction with the justice system, particularly incarceration, and the need of the justice system to continue serving and protecting the wider community.Read(pdf 503.85 KB)
SUBMISSION: The application of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in Australia
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (‘UNDRIP’ or ‘the Declaration’) is an important declaration that articulates the rights of Indigenous peoples across the globe, rights to preserve and maintain control of their cultural heritage, and to pursue their own priorities for their development. The Declaration establishes a standard for the dignity and survival of Indigenous peoples of the world. The UNDRIP draws on existing international laws and conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and relates the rights contained in these international instruments to Indigenous peoples across the globe. The rights cultivated by the UNDRIP include rights to self-determination, culture, identity, land, language, health, and education and employment.Read(pdf 274.95 KB)
SUBMISSION: ACT Raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility
ANTaR commends the ACT Government for being the leading jurisdiction in Australia to pursue this legislative change. We appreciate the need to weigh up the best way to protect young children from adverse and damaging interaction with the justice system, and particularly incarceration and the need to continue serving and protecting the wider community.Read(pdf 218.69 KB)
Historicising Colonial And Postcolonial Indigenous Crime And Punishment
This is Chapter 2 from Thalia Anthony's book, Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment (Routledge, 2013).Read(pdf 231.12 KB)
KPMG Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project Impact Assessment
KPMG Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project Impact Assessment. This report outlines the findings into the changes in Bourke during 2017.Read(pdf 703.81 KB)
PM must act on crisis of Aboriginal children’s imprisonment
National advocacy organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights ANTaR, called for the Federal Government to lead a national response to the crisis of Aboriginal children’s
imprisonment by adopting the Change the Record Campaign’s National Plan of Action Free to Be Kids, launched at a Sea of Hands installation in front of Federal Parliament today.Read(pdf 176.65 KB)
Free to be Kids National Plan of Action
On Monday 27 November outside Parliament House in Canberra, ANTaR and the Change the Record Campaign launched the Free to be Kids Plan of Action to tackle the over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth.Read(pdf 849.31 KB)
Royal Commission into the Detention and Protection of Children in the Northern Territory Report Overview
Royal Commission into the Detention and Protection of Children in the Northern Territory Report OverviewRead(pdf 2 MB)
Submission to Australian Law Reform Commission Inquiry into Incarceration Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Read ANTaR's Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission Inquiry into Incarceration Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.Read(pdf 325.21 KB)
A Blueprint for Change
This Blueprint is the result of more than two years of collaboration between 16 leading peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bodies, legal organisations and human rights groups. It urges a whole of government strategy, the setting of justice targets, and a commitment to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, their organisations and representatives to drive solutions.Read(pdf 978.24 KB)
Extraordinary systemic and individual failure at the heart of Ms Dhu tragedyArchive
National advocacy organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, ANTaR, today called for immediate action to address the systemic and individual failures in the justice system, in light of the Ms Dhu Coronial Inquest findings.
ANTaR National Director Andrew Meehan, said he was deeply disturbed by the video footage showing the inhumane treatment of Ms Dhu, and that the findings of the Inquiry demonstrate that urgent action is required to prevent such cases occurring again.
Read more in ANTaR's Media ReleaseRead(pdf 97.06 KB)
Inquiry into over-incarceration of First Peoples a welcome stepArchiveANTaR, today welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of an inquiry into the appalling incarceration levels forFirst Peoples in Australia.The inquiry has been tasked to the Australian Law Reform Commission which will examine the factors leading to the over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the prison system, and consider reforms to reduce that representation.ANTaR National Director Andrew Meehan said that the announcement is welcome but he emphasised the need to engage with First Peoples representatives on the terms of reference, including to consider extending them to look at prevention of family violence. Learn more from ANTaR's full media release.Read(pdf 85.16 KB)
Justice Reinvestment - Giving kids a life not life in prisonArchive
ANTaR, national advocacy organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, today called on all governments to listen to First Peoples in order to address crisis levels of incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.
National Campaigns Manager, Ms Jane Powles said that “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders have been calling for the implementation of Justice Reinvestment since 2009 to address high incarceration rates.”
“Its about time governments started to listen,” she said.
Last night’s episode of ABC’s Four Corners featuring one of the first Justice Reinvestment trial sites in Australia, highlighted the common sense approach that Justice Reinvestment supports.
Learn more from ANTaR's full media release.Read(pdf 42.39 KB)
Cleveland Youth Detention Centre shows abuse of youth in detention is a national issueArchiveNational Advocacy organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, ANTaR, tonight called for the Royal Commission into the Child Protection and Youth Detention Systems of the Northern Territory to be expanded to cover all jurisdictions across the country, and for the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) to be urgently ratified by the Australian Government.Read(pdf 98.84 KB)
PM, engage with First Peoples from the startArchive
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights advocacy organisation, ANTaR today called for the Prime Minister and Federal Government to start engaging with, and listening to First Peoples before making decisions.Read(pdf 44.51 KB)
Prime Minister hasn’t listened to First Peoples on Royal CommissionArchive
National advocacy organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, today expressed dismay that the Federal Government hadn’t listened to Aboriginal and Torres Strait organisations on the Royal Commission in the Northern Territory.
ANTaR National Director Andrew Meehan said that the Prime Minister had disappointed the sector following what was initially a positive response to the horrific scenes showing abuse at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in the Northern Territory.Read(pdf 45.06 KB)
Over 100 organisations release statement calling for Royal Commission to be independent, and broader in scope.Archive
Call for the Royal Commission to be conducted completely independently from the Northern Territory Government and for a broader inquiry into the youth justice system.Read(pdf 92.71 KB)
Over 100 organisations release statement calling for Royal Commission to be independent, and broader in scope.Archive
Today over 100 organisations, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak representative bodies, have released an Open Statement welcoming Prime Minister Turnbull’s Royal Commission into the horrific abuse of children in the Northern Territory, but calling for it to be conducted independently from the NT Government and for a broader inquiry into the youth justice system as a whole.Read(pdf 85.63 KB)
Time for Aboriginal youth incarceration to be of interest to the Federal GovernmentArchive
ANTaR, national advocacy organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, today called for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth incarceration across the country to become a priority for the Federal Government.
ANTaR National Director Andrew Meehan said that he was astounded at reports that the Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs had commented that his ‘interest wasn’t piqued’ prior to Monday’s Four Corners program on youth detention in the Northern Territory.Read(pdf 49.52 KB)
Horrific abuse of young people in Northern Territory must lead to real changeArchive
National advocacy organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, ANTaR today called for the sacking of Northern Territory Minister for Corrective Services, Justice, Families and Children, John Elferink following harrowing footage of abuse of young people in detention at Don Dale youth detention centre.Read(pdf 44.73 KB)
25 years of abject government failure must stop hereArchive
Today, on the 25th anniversary of the release of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Report, national advocacy organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights – ANTaR, called for an end to government indifference to addressing the nationwide incarceration crisis facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.Read(pdf 114.25 KB)
Royal Commission into Family Violence: An Important focus on Aboriginal womenArchive
Today the Change the Record Coalition welcomed the release of the report and recommendations of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence (Royal Commission). The report provides 227 recommendations aimed at addressing and preventing family violence, and includes an important focus on the disproportionate impact of family violence on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children.Read(pdf 299.82 KB)
“The Things That Must Be Done…” **Archive
Bob Debus highlights the incarceration crisis in the Second Frank Walker Memorial Lecture - “The Things That Must Be Done…” ** Some Genuine Decision-Making Power: Dealing with the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the prison systemRead(pdf 243.82 KB)
Statement on video depicting excessive force by police towards Aboriginal womanArchive
ANTaR is a signatory to an open letter calling for an independent investigation into distressing reports excessive force was used by a QLD police office against on Aboriginal mother in January 2016. Read the statement for more information.Read(pdf 228.85 KB)
COAG must now set targets to reduce incarceration and violence experienced by First PeoplesArchive
Following the meeting of the Council of Australian Governments on Friday, national advocacy organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights – ANTaR, today expressed frustration at the absence of any focus on lowering rates of violence and incarceration experienced by First Peoples.Read(pdf 1.08 MB)
16 organisations release Blueprint for Change on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment and violence ratesArchive
The Change the Record Coalition will today meet in Canberra to launch the ‘Blueprint for Change’. This is the first time a broad range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous organisations have come together with a concrete plan for Federal, State and Territory Governments to change the record on soaring Aboriginal imprisonment rates and high levels of experienced violence.
The Blueprint urges a whole of government strategy, the setting of justice targets, and a commitment to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, their organisations and representatives to drive solutions.Read(pdf 216.34 KB)
Time for all sides of politics to come together on what First Peoples are calling for on justiceArchive
ANTaR, national advocacy organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, today called on all sides of politics to listen and act on what First Peoples have called for on justice.
The call comes after the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten delivered a speech in Melbourne last night outlining the Labor Party’s approach to justice, including committing to setting targets to close the justice gap.Read(pdf 112.95 KB)
UN Review makes clear that it’s time Australia got serious about reducing First Peoples’ incarcerationArchive
ANTaR, national advocacy organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, today called on government to demonstrate its commitment to First Peoples’ human rights by acting on the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review.Read(pdf 93.4 KB)
Governments urged to change the record, as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment gap widensArchive
Today the Change the Record Coalition urged Governments to take critical leadership to address the rising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment crisis.
The call for action has come with the release yesterday of the most recent NSW custody statistics which show a staggering increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in prisons, with an 18 per cent increase since October last year and a 20 per cent increase over the last two years.
Coalition Co-Chair Shane Duffy said the report shows that not only are the rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people incarceration at crisis levels, the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians is growing in NSW.Read(pdf 307.23 KB)
Record must be changed to turn crisis aroundArchive
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights organisation ANTaR joined with coalition partners today to launch a new campaign to change the appalling rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ imprisonment and experience of violence.
The ‘Change the Record’ campaign is calling for a new approach that focuses on early intervention, prevention, and diversion strategies that address the root causes of violence and imprisonment.Read(pdf 77.4 KB)
How do we change the recordArchive
To Change the Record, we need to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communi-ties to invest in holistic early intervention, prevention and diversion strategies. These are smarter, evidence-based and more cost-effective solutions that increase safety, address the root causes of violence against women and children, cut reoffending and imprisonment rates, and build stronger communities.
Here is our list of what needs to be done.Read(pdf 201.23 KB)
Reversal of Aboriginal Legal Services cuts welcome but more neededArchive
ANTaR today welcomed the reversal of funding cuts to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS) and called for longer term certainty for the vital sector.Read(pdf 96.94 KB)
OPEN LETTER: Cuts to legal services will have disastrous impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communitiesArchive
26 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, health, community, and legal peak organisations write an open letter to the PM to request an urgent reversal of the proposed funding cuts to legal assistance services under the Attorney General’s portfolio, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS), its peak body National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS), Community Legal Centres (CLCs) and the Legal Aid Commissions (LAC).Read(pdf 272.68 KB)
Smarter, safer approach to justice critical to closing the gapArchiveA group of leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, community and human rights organisations meeting in Sydney today have called for national leadership to address the crisis levels of incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and create safer communities.Read(pdf 404.29 KB)
Government must heed the calls of the Productivity Commission and Social Justice Commissioner reports and act on incarceration ratesArchive
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights advocacy organisation ANTaR today called on government to act on unacceptable incarceration rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
National Director Andrew Meehan said that there had been report after report highlighting the urgent need to address incarceration, and government couldn’t bury its head in the sand on the issue.Read(pdf 98.6 KB)
The over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system is one of the most significant social justice issues facing Australia. Read more about it. Download our fact sheet.Read(pdf 2.13 MB)
Government must act now to meet its commitment on justice targetsArchive
It’s now time government acted on its commitment to set a destination and chart the course to get us there in relation to incarceration and to do so with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Government should put this issue on the COAG agenda as a matter of urgency and work towards the development of justice targets. It must meet its commitment on setting targets to reduce incarceration.
By Andrew Meehan, ANTaR National DirectorRead(pdf 1.3 MB)
Reconciliation in Parliament event showcases a new approach to reducing incarceration ratesArchive
Parliamentarians, Aboriginal leaders, and community members will gather in the NSW Parliament House on Wednesday evening to discuss a new approach to reducing Aboriginal incarceration rates.
The Reconciliation in Parliament event is a yearly forum hosted by ANTaR and the NSW Reconciliation Council to engage parliamentarians from across the political spectrum on reconciliation and addressing Aboriginal disadvantage in NSW.Read(pdf 126.3 KB)
Justice Targets are needed for action on Aboriginal Jobs and EducationArchive
ANTaR supports the calls made today by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) and the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples for the Governments of Australia to adopt Justice Targets.Read(pdf 71.83 KB)
Cuts to Aboriginal Legal Services will undermine action on Aboriginal jobs and educationArchive
The proposed defunding of the peak body for Aboriginal Legal Services would undermine the Abbott Government’s efforts to improve education and employment for Aboriginal people, according to ANTaR.
ANTaR National Director, Gary Highland said that defunding the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) would lead to more Aboriginal people going to prison and undermine efforts to improve Aboriginal community safety.Read(pdf 82.27 KB)
Senate Inquiry into the value of a Justice Reinvestment approach to criminal justice in AustraliaArchive
In this submission ANTaR discusses the unacceptable over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our prison system and the drivers of this imprisonment rate. We raise serious questions about the economic and social cost of imprisonment in the face of what appears to be an ineffective measure to reduce crime and make safer communities. We put forward Justice Reinvestment as a positive policy solution, defining this approach and the purported economic and social benefits of reinvesting justice funds using examples in the US and the UK to support these claims. We support the recommendations put forward by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services to progress the implementation of a justice reinvestment approach in Australia.Read(pdf 451.11 KB)
Senate inquiry to explore smarter approach to crimeArchive
ANTaR welcomes the passage of a motion for a parliamentary inquiry into Justice Reinvestment as a milestone in the campaign to reduce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rates.Read(pdf 87.93 KB)
ANTaR backs call for Justice Reinvestment inquiryArchive
ANTaR supports the call for a parliamentary inquiry to explore the potential for Justice
Reinvestment to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people in prisons and create safer communities.Read(pdf 94.25 KB)
Joint Media Release: Coronial report highlights systemic flawsArchive
Responding to the release of the coronial report into the death of Kwementyaye Briscoe, ANTaR and the National Police Accountability Network highlight the need for major changes to prevent future deaths in custody.
Read(pdf 92.16 KB)
Practical action needed now to address ‘national shame’ of Aboriginal imprisonmentArchive
Delivering the 25th Lionel Murphy lecture last night, the Attorney-General Robert McClelland acknowledged that over-imprisonment causes more crime than it prevents and affirmed the need for all governments to work together to address the social causes of crime.Read(pdf 55.43 KB)
Report confirms reducing over-imprisonment is critical to close the gapArchive
The National Director of ANTaR says a report released today confirms the urgent need for governments to reduce the disproportionate number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people being imprisoned.Read(pdf 53.12 KB)
Broad support for Call to Action to reduce Indigenous imprisonmentArchive
A wide range of community organisations have endorsed a Call to Action aimed at dramatically reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our jails.Read(pdf 72.64 KB)
National Call to ActionArchive
Read ANTaR's National Call to Action, issued on the 20th anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody handing their Final Report to the Governor-General.Read(pdf 67.63 KB)
Submission to Inquiry into the high level of involvement of Indigenous juveniles and young adults in the criminal justice systemArchive
In this submission, ANTaR makes a series of recommendations designed to achieve a reduction in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in custody and build the strength and capacity of local communities, including a national justice reinvestment approach.Read(pdf 81.14 KB)
ANTaR welcomes Greens ‘Justice Reinvestment’ initiativeArchive
ANTaR welcomes the Greens launch today of its ‘Justice Reinvestment’ initiative and challenges all major parties to commit to the national rollout of Justice Reinvestment strategies in cooperation with State and Territory Governments.Read(pdf 31.55 KB)