120726 – “A mental health crisis behind bars” Tracker

* Tracker: A mental health crisis behind bars
* News Release: Family demands independent investigation into
death in custody in Alice Springs Hospital
* ANTaR: Reducing Imprisonment of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander people
* UnitingJustice:
Pastoral Letter on Action Against ‘Stronger Futures’
* Michael Brull: Are Little Children still Sacred?
* Jon Altman: NT intervention: what happened to outcomes?
* Background to ‘Stronger Futures’ new NT Intervention laws
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Other articles


– News

newsTracker: A mental health crisis behind bars
25 Jul 12: “QUEENSLAND: … a new study that has found the
majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Queenslanders currently in jail suffer from mental illness.
The study was conducted by Queensland Forensic Mental
Health Services and is one of the first to survey the
prevalence of mental health disorders amongst Indigenous
prisoners in the state. It found 72.8 percent of men and
86.1 percent of women surveyed suffered from at least one
mental health disorder. … The most common anxiety
disorder amongst both men and women was post-traumatic
stress disorder.”

One third of prison entrants suffer from mental illness: AIHW
25 Jul 12: “NATIONAL: About one-third of people who enter
prison in Australia have a history of mental illness, a new
report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
(AIHW) says. The report found 31 percent of prison entrants
had been told by a medical professional that they had a
mental health disorder, the report said, a figure that is
2.5 times higher than the general population. It comes
following a report in Queensland which found the majority
of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women in
incarceration suffered from a mental health disorder.”
Amy McQuire, a Darumbal and South Sea Islander woman,
editor of Tracker


– News Release

Family demands independent investigation into
death in custody in Alice Springs Hospital
Sovereign Union: http://nationalunitygovernment.org/content/family-demands-independent-investigation-death-custody-alice-springs-hospital
Treaty Republic: http://treatyrepublic.net/content/family-demands-independent-investigation-death-custody-alice-springs-hospital
“The family of Arabana man, Peter Clarke, issued a call
today for the Northern Territory Government to launch an
independent enquiry into his death in Alice Springs
Hospital. He was 56 year old. Mr Clarke died on Tuesday 3
April 2012. He’d been due for parole on 26 March 2012 but
was hospitalised on 19 March. When Peter Clarke’s younger
brother Wayne and sister Gladys visited the hospital, they
were shocked to find their brother cuffed by the ankle to
the hospital bed. A Corrections Officer was also standing
guard at the door. … ”

– Audio Interviews

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane:
Kylie Hampton & Bruce Campbell
24 Jul 12: “* Kylie Hampton, Daughter of Peter Clarke
* Bruce Campbell, WA Deaths in Custody Watch Committee”
Listen to this interview on-line:

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
Ray Jackson speaks about Peter Clarke death…
24 Jul 12: “The Indigenous Social Justice Association has
been fighting for a long time now against Aboriginal deaths
in custody. It is an ongoing issue and one that continues
to raise the concern of many Indigenous Australians’ and
non Indigenous Australians. The death earlier this year of
Peter Clarke in the Alice Springs hospital has concerned
the Indigenous Social Justice Aassociation. Ray Jackson
joins Paul Wiles on Strong Voices.”

* ANTaR:

– Issues and Campaigns

– Justice, Rights, and Respect for Australia’s First Peoples:
Reducing Imprisonment of Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander people
Attorneys General Urge Action on Aboriginal Incarceration
“A meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys General on
July 21st – 22nd 2011 agreed to make recommendations to the
Commonwealth for action on reducing Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander imprisonment rates. A post-meeting
Communique stated: “Ministers discussed the unacceptable
rates of incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples, including the House of Representatives
Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Affairs Doing Time – Time for Doing Report and agreed: … ”

– Related Audio

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:

25 Jul 12: “Australia’s peak Indigenous Social Justice
group says Aboriginal and Islander people have been dying
in custody at the rate of one a month for the past thirty

– Related News

Family mourns as they await answers over Briscoe death
25 Jul 12: “NORTHERN TERRITORY: Kwementyaye Briscoe’s aunty
Patricia Morton-Thomas doesn’t know what the word ‘justice’
is supposed to mean. She’s been asked countless times
whether her family will ever see it following the death of
the 27-year-old Anmatyere man, who passed away on the
floor of an Alice Springs watch house earlier this year.
“I honestly don’t understand what (justice) means. The
average person on the ground has a completely different
idea of what justice is to our legal system.” Ms
Morton-Thomas told Tracker.” Amy McQuire, a Darumbal and
South Sea Islander woman, editor of Tracker


– Letters

Pastoral Letter on Action Against ‘Stronger Futures’
22 Jul 12: “Dear sisters and brothers in Christ, …
Yesterday, all the members of the Assembly, many of the
guests and visitors and local Uniting Church members walked
from the Assembly venue to the Parliament House of South
Australia to hold a vigil in response to the passing of the
Federal Stronger Futures legislation. I write to explain
what led the Assembly to take this action. … We heard
stories of the impact of the Northern Territory
Intervention on the lives, wellbeing and dignity of many
people in Indigenous communities and their cries of
despair at the passing of the Stronger Futures legislation
which continues many of the harmful and discriminatory
policies of the previous Intervention. …
Reverend Professor Andrew Dutney
President, Uniting Church in Ausralia Assembly”

Pastoral Letter on Action Against ‘Stronger Futures’
[scroll down page] http://www.unitingjustice.org.au/justice-for-indigenous-australians/news/item/867-pastoral-letter-from-the-president-on-action-against-stronger-futures
22 Jul 12: “To the Members of the Uniting Church in Australia
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Our covenantal relationship with the Uniting Church of
Australia was made stronger and deeper in its meaning as
all the members of the Assembly walked together with
Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress members
to conduct a vigil of prayer and lament on the steps of the
South Australian Parliament. This public act of solidarity
was in support of our Congress members who have felt the
pain and frustration of the Northern Territory Intervention
in their communities. Together the Uniting Church and
Congress lamented the passing of the Stronger Futures
legislation …
Reverend Rronang Garrawurra
Chair, Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress”

– Related News

Insights Magazine
– Uniting Church in Australia’s Synod of NSW & ACT:
Prayer vigil called to mourn passing of Stronger Futures legislation
18 Jul 12: “Members of the Uniting Church’s 13th Assembly
will gather publicly in Adelaide on Thursday July 19 for a
lunchtime prayer vigil to express extreme concern about the
“Stronger Futures” legislation. In a dramatic response to
calls for action to support the Indigenous people of
Australia, Assembly changed its order of business so it
could make the strongest possible statement about the law.
The Chairperson of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander
Christian Congress, the Rev. Rronang Garrawurra, and the
new President of the Uniting Church, the Rev. Professor
Andrew Dutney, will stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the
prayer vigil.”

Indymedia Australia:
Prayer Vigil Today to Mourn Stronger Futures Laws
[scroll down page] http://www.indymedia.org.au/2012/07/20/govt%E2%80%99s-nt-move-makes-a-mockery-of-%E2%80%98sorry%E2%80%99-bishop
19 Jul 12: “Rev. Rronang Garrawurra …
The entire 265 Members of the Uniting Church’s Assembly
meeting will hold a prayer vigil at 1 pm on Thursday 19
July on the steps of the South Australian Parliament to
express their extreme concern at the passage of the Federal
Government’s Stronger Futures legislation. … “They have
taken our land and now our humanity is taken away by this
new law,” said Rev. Garrawurra, speaking through an
interpreter in his native Yolngu language. “The Uniting
Church mourns another lost opportunity for true
reconciliation with the First Peoples of Australia,” said
Rev. Prof. Dutney … ”

– Related Audio

The Wire: Stronger Futures Protest
Produced by Christopher Testa
19 Jul 12: “There were prayers being said and songs being
sung today on the steps of South Australia’s Parliament
house, as the Uniting Church gathered for its triennial
assembly. The prayers carried a message for the federal
government. Christopher Testa was there.
Featured in story:
* Rev Rronang Garrawurra, Chairperson of the
Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress
* Rev Professor Andrew Dutney, President of the Uniting Church
* Robert Hoosan, Chair of the Northern Region of the
Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress”


– News

newsTracker: Are Little Children still Sacred?
25 Jul 12: “NATIONAL: The intervention was sparked by the
NT government-commissioned Little Children Are Sacred
report. But how far removed is it from Stronger Futures,
asks MICHAEL BRULL*. Yolngu leader Rev Dr Djiniyini
Gondarra OAM said that, “For those of us living in the
Northern Territory the anguish of the past five years of
intervention has been almost unbearable”. The Stronger
Futures legislation expands these five years of racially
discriminatory legislation for another 10 years. … It is
worth revisiting the Little Children are Sacred report,
which envisioned a very different type of future. … ”
Michael Brull, studying a Juris Doctor at UNSW,
an occasional Tracker contributor, published in the
Indigenous Law Bulletin, National Times, ABC Drum, Overland


– Analysis / Opinion

NT intervention: what happened to outcomes?
Crikey: http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/07/12/nt-intervention-what-happened-to-outcomes/
ISX: http://www.isx.org.au/forums/read.php?18,10071,10071,quote=1
12 Jul 12: “The fifth anniversary of the Northern Territory
Emergency Response Intervention ticked over Tuesday. It was
supposed to be “liberation” day for prescribed communities
in the Northern Territory, by now supposedly “stabilised,
normalised and exited”. Instead it was another day of shame
for the many Aboriginal people who are demeaned and
humiliated by intervention measures and resent such
“special” treatment. On the eve of this anniversary, the
Australian government strategically released its latest
Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory Monitoring Report
for the period July to December 2011.”
Jon Altman, social sciences research professor,
Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research,
Australian National University


Last updated: 24 July 2012



Last updated: 4 July 2012



– Audio

The Wire:
Calls for a national representative body for Indigenous elders
Produced by Tawar Razaghi
24 Jul 12: “Indigenous elders across the country are
working on a national representative body for elders after
attending a Think Tank at Griffith University. Seventy five
academic elders came together at the event discussing the
importance of their role in higher education of preserving
cultural knowledge and influencing indigenous policy. As a
result there was an overwhelming consensus for the need of
a national voice representing academic elders in key
policies and debates. …
Featured in story:
* Professor Boni Robertson Director – Indigenous Community
Engagement Policy and Partnerships, Griffith University
* Associate Professor Berice Anning – Dean of Indigenous
Education, University of Western Sydney”

– News

Warlpiri celebrate signing of largest IPA in Australian history
25 Jul 12: “NORTHERN TERRITORY: An area the size of
Portugal has been signed off in the southern Tanami desert
in the Northern Territory, making it the largest Indigenous
Protected Area (IPA) in the country. The region features
some of the most pristine and diverse desert in the nation.
Ten million hectares of it will be a conservation zone, the
federal government announced this month. It makes it the
largest protected area in Australia and takes in a small
part of the Great Sandy Desert. It is the homeland of the
Warlpiri people and links the desert to the subtropical

Koori Mail: NPY women ask for income management
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php?page=Current+Edition
25 Jul 12: “ABORIGINAL women in remote South Australia and
Western Australia are actively campaigning to be included
in the Federal Government’s income management scheme, first
introduced under the Northern Territory Intervention. The
influential Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and
Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council says it has surveyed
its members and found they strongly believe income
management … would help reduce alcohol abuse, violence,
gambling, child abuse and neglect in their communities.”

– – –

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