Marking 30 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody

30 years on from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, we are still seeing our loved ones and community members die in custody on an almost weekly basis.

We are still seeing our people incarcerated at 12 times the rate of non-Aboriginal people in Victoria.

We are still seeing our grieving families go through grueling coronial inquests and never finding justice for their loved ones.

We are still seeing governments fail to act upon the Royal Commission’s recommendations – inaction that has cost the lives of over 470 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This is not the result of a ‘broken’ system.

This is a system that was never set up for Aboriginal people. This marginalisation is embedded and enacted throughout Australia’s laws, policies and institutions.

It has to stop.

Today, we stand with our community in calling for truth, for accountability, and for justice.

In Victoria, we are on a journey towards Treaty which will see Traditional Owners negotiate Treaties with the state on an even playing field.

This process will be underpinned by the historic Yoo-rrook Justice Commission – the first Truth-telling process in Australia to examine historic and ongoing wrongs faced by Aboriginal people since the beginning of colonisation.

We believe that the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission and Victorian Treaty process – driven by the voices of the Aboriginal community – have the potential to confront these hard truths and rebuild our systems for a safer and more just future for all.