Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have been demanding changes to the justice system for decades. Indigenous Rights Advisor and Palawa Elder, Rodney Dillon knows there is a solution. Will you add your voice?
“Fifty years ago, Australians came together and stood up for the rights of Indigenous people.
In the 1967 Referendum we were told by voting ‘yes’ the Federal government would take greater responsibility for protecting the rights of Indigenous people and count us in the census.
We felt full of hope – a big change was in the air with over 90% of Australians voting for action – but since then, we’ve been continuously let down.
The (in)justice system
When Governments are condoning the hooding and strapping of kids to chairs, tear gassing them, locking them in the dark for 23 hours a day, brutalising them, it makes you feel angry and ashamed. From Darwin to Sydney, Perth to Townsville – we are mistreating kids, rather than giving them the support they need.
It’s child abuse, and Indigenous kids are more likely to be affected across the country because, while our kids make up less than 6% of young people, they are over half of kids in detention.
Most of these kids should be with their community, not behind bars. Our communities know how to keep our kids strong in culture, and healthy, and how to give them real opportunities for a brighter future.
Be part of the solution
At Amnesty International, we have been working with Indigenous communities, kids, leaders and community-run organisations across the country, listening to the ways they are working to stop this injustice. Our communities have the answers.
The treatment of Indigenous kids in Don Dale shocked our nation. But shock is not enough. Now we have to act. The spotlight from recent inquiries right around Australia provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure a national, long term, funded strategy for real change.
Aboriginal people, like me, want non-Indigenous people to come along with us, to help raise our voices, to march beside us, to let the Government know we won’t stand for their failure a minute longer.
Together, we can fulfill the legacy of fifty years ago and secure a better future for Indigenous kids. Join our movement and together, we can make history.”
Palawa Elder Rodney Dillon is an Indigenous Rights Adviser for Amnesty International Australia. Rodney has been instrumental in the repatriation of Indigenous remains from overseas and has won, among many other things, the Tasmanian Human Rights Award in 2013. His favourite achievement is the purchase of a sheep station on Bruny Island for the Aboriginal people of Tasmania.