There will be a silent Community Voices Exhibition at Victoria Park Lake Shepparton on Saturday 13 July 2020 from 10:00am – 4:00 pm. Social Distancing will be strictly enforced at this event. This event is not a gathering at one place; it is an opportunity to walk and reflect, walk and learn: 437 deaths to reflect upon.
A royal commission in 1987 investigated Aboriginal deaths in custody over a 10-year period, giving over 330 recommendations. Its recommendations are still valid today, but very few have been implemented. Every year, Aboriginal people continue to die in custody.
“An arrested Aboriginal person has to run the gauntlet of first being in police custody then being placed in custodial transport, then being incarcerated in a prison,” explains Aboriginal elder and leader of the Euahlayi tribe, Michael Anderson. “At each stage we now have records that indicate that all three stages have increased their statistics of Aboriginal deaths since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.”
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter protests brought thousands on to the streets campaigning for an end to Aboriginal deaths in custody.
Many signs at rallies referred to the 432 deaths that are known to have happened since the royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody delivered its final report in 1991.
That figure is based on Guardian Australia’s findings from a two-year long project to monitor Aboriginal deaths in custody, Deaths Inside. We updated the database and published new results on Saturday. We found the number had risen to 434.
But by Saturday morning even that number was already out of date. Just before marches began in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and towns around the country, the department of corrective services in Western Australia confirmed that a 40-year-old Aboriginal man had died in custody at Acacia prison, near Perth.
As of Monday 8 June 2020, based on reports that have reached us from families and other sources, including coronial reports, we can say that number is now at least 437.
There will be a silent Community Voices Exhibition at Victoria Park Lake Shepparton on Saturday 13 July 2020 from 10:00am – 4:00 pm. Social Distancing will be strictly enforced at this event.
This event is not a gathering at one place; it is an opportunity to walk and reflect, walk and learn: 437 deaths to reflect upon.
You are invited to walk around Victoria Park Lake, Shepparton and to reflect upon the 437 signs referring to Black Deaths in Custody. There will be different messages for your experience, reflection and learning about indigenous lives. There will be no central place of gathering: social distancing will be strictly applied.