Links to other sites concerned with Aboriginal deaths in police or prison custody.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers of this page should be aware that seeing images of deceased persons or reading their names may cause sadness or distress and in some cases may offend against cultural prohibitions.
All viewers of this page should be aware of the cultural sensitivity of some of the issues and material which this site discusses. Please be aware of the sensitivities of the living relatives and friends of those whose stories are recorded on this site.
Here are some useful links to do with the issue of Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. I used many of them while researching Eddie’s Country.
Probably the most useful site to start with is the Reconciliation and Social Justice Library. This holds electronic copies of all the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC ) reports and recommendations.
A very good contemporary point of connection is the Stop Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Facebook page. It has information on black deaths at the hands of police in the US as well.
The Australian Institute of Criminology holds many current reports which deal with deaths in custody.
The National Archives of Australia holds many documents to do with the RCIADIC. This link is to a fact Sheet on Information it holds.
The Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC) holds some resources which deal with the issue.
Amnesty International holds a library of documents on Australia.
Richard Frankland was a Case Officer during the RCIADIC. He has subsequently written about his experiences, including the play Conversations With the Dead. This is his website.
The University of NSW Indigenous Law Centre.
Recently #blacklivesmatter has arisen in the US after a number of African Americans were killed by police officers. Check out the Black Lives Matter sitehere.
There are of course many reference to Eddie Murray on the pages of this site. Here is some additional information.
Too Much Wrong (2nd Edition) by Robert Cavanagh and Dr Roderic Pitty.
The authors of this publication have kindly consented to its publication in electronic form from this site. They note that the original publisher of Too Much Wrong was the Many Rivers Aboriginal Legal Service, and requested that permission from this organisation, or its current representative, be obtained and published here. (See below.)
Note: the electronic edition of Too Much Wrong does not contain the photographs which were in the printed edition.
Arthur Murray also approved the availability of Too Much Wrong as an electronic download.
Note from John McKenzie of the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) re Too Much Wrong:
To download the pdf, accept the conditions below.
I acknowledge that this pdf contains material sensitive to the Murray family as well copyrighted material which may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the copyright holders.
To contact the authors of Too Much Wrong send me an email, and I will forward your message.
Sydney Launch Highlights
Click on the You Tube link to view highlights of the Eddie's Country book launch as part of the Sydney Writer's Festival, 2006.
Late Night Live Interview
Click on the SoundCloud link to hear the ABC Radio National Late Night Live interview between host Phillip Adams and his guests Arthur Murray and Simon Luckhurst. Broadcast on Thursday 8 June, 2006, this link is possible thanks to the ABC, Phillip Adams and producer Sarah Kanowski.
On January 27, Mr. Ward, a respected Aboriginal elder from Warburton, was being transported 380km in the back of a van in 42 degree heat with no working air-conditioning.
Mr Ward was only given a 600ml bottle of water and a pie for the journey – a journey in 42C heat in which the Global Solutions Ltd (GSL) officers responsible for transporting Mr Ward from Laverton to Kalgoorlie did not pause for a rest stop… until they heard a ‘thump’.
This ‘thump’ was Mr Ward collapsing in the back of the van as it neared Kalgoorlie. He died soon afterwards at the Kalgoorlie Regional Hospital.
Mark Binns sent these pictures of the rally held in Perth on Friday 3 April 2009.
Join the call for:
- An end to deaths in custody.
- The GSL security guards to be stood down.
- Those responsible for Mr Ward’s death to be charged.
- Compensation for the family of Mr Ward.
- The use of air transport or video conferencing instead of long road journeys.
- Health checks for detainees by medical practitioners prior to transportation.
- Immediate upgrades to and regular checks of detainee transport vehicles.
- A review of bail terms to avoid unnecessary detention.
- An end to the privatization of custodial services.
To learn more about the campaign for Mr Ward please contactThe Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (WA) Inc.
John Pat died in Roeburn, Western Australia in 1983. When the off-duty police officers initially found responsible for kicking him to death were not punished, the outrage felt by his family and others brought them together with other Aboriginal families who had lost loved ones - including the Murray family - so that eventually their actions in protests and political pressure instigated the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
Some articles on the John Pat case appear in back copies of the Green Left Weekly.
The Alternative Law Journal has an article by Jeannine Purdy called ‘Royal commissions and omissions. The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the death of John Pat’. (Alternative Law Journal, vol. 17, no. 1, Feb 1992, pp. 32–33) which is available from the ALJ (AU$8.80).
Douglas Scott's death was also examined by the RCIADIC. Doubts regarding the efficacy of its investigation still linger. Douglas' widow, Letty Scott, has remained resolute in her determination to find out what happened to her husband, including the exhumation of Douglas’s remains – with surprising results.
Letty Scott passed away in February 2008.
Letty's fight is not forgotten.
Her sister Rhubee Neale is an artist and singer/ songwriter. You can learn more about her here.
Wendy Hancock died in Mullawa Prison, NSW Australia in 2005. She was supposed to be in a safe cell, with no hanging points. She was supposed to on five-minute observations. The Prison Service's failure to ensure these and other recommendations were followed meant that Wendy was able to take her own life. I have written a series articles on this subject for the Koori Mail.
You can also read them here.
T.J. Hickey died after crashing his bike. Doubt exists as to whether he crashed trying to avoid being pursued by police, or because he thought he was being pursued by police. Community outrage following his death lead to rioting in the Sydney suburb of Redfern.
Links to some articles on the case follow:
4 Corners ABC-TV Investigative Report on the Redfern Riot.
Numerous other articles are available online.
Mulrunji (Cameron Doomadgee)
Mulrunji died in Palm Island Lockup in 2004. The failure of the Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions to charge the police officer found by the Queensland Coroner to be responsible for his unnecessary death has outraged many people. Many articles are available online.
Information on the case can be found in the book The Tall Man by Chloe Hooper.