The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO says the West Australian Coroner’s report into the deaths of 13 Aboriginal children and young people must be the turning point for action.
Commissioner Oscar said unlike the many previous inquiries that have taken place, the 42 recommendations contained in the Coroner’s report must be implemented.
“Hopefully this time there will be action. This is absolutely a national crisis and it does require immediate attention from all levels of government across the country.
“We need radical change to the level of support across the Kimberley for the many families affected by suicide.
“It is heartbreaking and frustrating to hear people in these communities say that they feel unsupported to deal with these issues. They must be supported.
“We need true engagement of people on the ground, in these communities, with the families that are living with layers and layers of challenges each day about how they can be supported.
“It’s absolutely critical, that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are involved in the co-design and delivery of programs and services dealing with our young people.
“The community requires serious and genuine engagement in the conversations around these issues because it is about the communities.
“Communities should be participating and seriously listened to about how we proceed in any implementation strategy of Coroner Fogliani's report,” Commissioner Oscar said.