Friday, 5 June 2020

The Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention at The University of Western Australia has today released a Statement on #BlackLivesMatter, and Black deaths in custody. An extract from the Statement is below.

We are all responsible for shaping the world that our children are born into. The Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention at The University of Western Australia stands with those protesting for justice worldwide and is committed to challenging all forms of racism and State violence.

We stand in solidarity and great sorrow for the death of George Floyd who was killed by police in Minneapolis on the 25 of May 2020. We also extend our heartfelt sympathy and respect to the family of David Dungay, an Aboriginal man who died in 2015, while being restrained by five prison guards and saying, ‘I can’t breathe’. We share the outrage and acknowledge the re-traumatisation felt by the families and communities of these men in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

There are similarities between how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia, and African American, Black American and Native American peoples in the US, are treated by the justice system and law enforcement. In Australia, incidents of Indigenous deaths by the hand of the State do not gain international attention. We can demand justice, and challenge systemic racism and police brutality, using the uprising in the US as a catalyst for worldwide change.

Read the full statement here:

Professor Pat Dudgeon was interviewed on radio station 6PR and you can listen to the podcast here:

10 Actions You Can Take Today

1. Show your solidarity.

2. Read about the families who have not seen justice for their loved ones killed in custody.

3. Go to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander events throughout the year.

4. Educate yourself about systemic racism, Aboriginal disadvantage and white privilege.

5. Learn about your Country and the First peoples of your local area, and Australia’s Indigenous history, culture, and pride.

6. Encourage your workplace, university, or school to do Indigenous-led cultural competency or Indigenous cultural awareness training, and support their reconciliation journey.

7. Support peak bodies and organisations to fight for the rights of Indigenous peoples: NACCHO, KAMS, LAA, Healing Foundation, SNAICC, Lowitja.

8. Support Indigenous-led local community groups, art galleries, theatre companies: Langford Aboriginal Association, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Aboriginal Art Centre Hub WA, Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company.

9. Buy from Indigenous suppliers and businesses. Supply Nation is a large database of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.

10. Teach people around you as you learn – remember silence implies consent.

Media references

Simone Hewett (UWA Media and PR Manager)                               08 6488 3229 / 0432 637 716


Media Statements — University News
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP) — Poche — School of Indigenous Studies