The Wheeler Centre
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25 Years … and Counting: The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
It’s 25 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody handed down its final report. The commission investigated the deaths of 99 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, generated 200 shelf metres of records and made 339 recommendations. One of the key findings, was that a reduction in rates of imprisonment would mean a reduction in risk of deaths in custody. But Indigenous people have doubled as a proportion of the prison population since the time of the commission – and many are still dying in custody today.
In the preface to the commission’s final report, the commissioners wrote that the issues underlying Aboriginal conflict with the law could not be solved by police and Aboriginal people alone. ‘The key is to be found in the hearts and minds of all Australians,’ they wrote.
In this discussion, our panel of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and human rights experts will discuss the significance of the Royal Commission, its findings and implications and the success and failings of policies implemented in its aftermath. What has worked? What hasn’t? And how can our governments shift the hearts and minds of all Australians?
With Karly Warner, Ruth Barson, Shane Duffy and Rose Falla.