Barely a day goes by that we don’t hear some horror story involving racism: police brutality towards Indigenous people, a refugee dying in a detention centre, another Islamophobic attack or a racist comment from a contemptible politician. Why is it that racism seems woven into the very fabric of society?
Debbie Kilroy doesn’t mince words. “Poverty in Western Australia is a crime – and the state government is ensuring that Aboriginal women are being criminalised because they’re poor.”
The Yindjibarndi people are no strangers to struggle. After a 14-year battle with Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), they are one step closer to gaining compensation from a mining company — a first in Australian history.
The federal government’s beleaguered Community Development Plan (CDP) has been labelled a “policy disaster” that exacerbates poverty and continues intergenerational trauma.
A single Facebook post on 7 May, among a sea of local news articles, was the only acknowledgement of a young Indigenous man’s sudden death days earlier in the West Kimberley Regional Prison, near Derby in north-west Western Australia.
On 4 August last year, the Dhu family received a shattering phone call. They were told that their daughter, Yamatji woman Julieka Dhu, had died in police custody. They later learned that her death – in a prison cell in South Hedland, WA – had been slow and that her last hours were spent in pain. One year on, her family are still waiting for answers.