Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.
Petition from William Tilmouth
To the Hon. Michael Gunner and the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull,
It will not be new information to you that the Northern Territory has the highest rate of children and young people in detention in Australia. 94% of these children are Aboriginal.
The Northern Territory also has the highest rate of children and young people in child protection.
89% of these children are Aboriginal.
This Royal Commission must be the one to make the change.
The images we saw in 2016 of the abuse in Don Dale were shocking. These images, reports and this Royal Commission reveal a system that is not only failing our children, it is harming them.
The system of locking up and abusing children is not new, the system of removing children from
their family is not new.
The traumatic outcomes for members of the stolen generation – children who were taken from their families, locked up and abused - have been well-documented in Royal Commissions and Inquiries.
The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody made many recommendations that if
implemented would have prevented what we are seeing today.
When I speak to my families each day I am faced with the unchanging tides of injustice. We are subject to a system that is corrupt.
We are losing generations to prison. We ask that you act on this Royal Commission to create justice and care for our children and focus on prevention. Invest in the future of our children from the very start.
We can create the conditions for health, happiness and success for our children, families and
communities in the Northern Territory. Our children are precious, they need love, care and support.
They need opportunities to live a full and healthy life with their families and to belong to a safe, inclusive and vibrant community.
The question is, will you make this Royal Commission matter? How many crises must we face? How many generations must be lost before we end the cycle?
It is time for us to focus on and invest in the prevention of detention, to lay down a new path for the future of our children.
Our children are the future. You hold them in your hands. As an Aboriginal man, father, grandfather and the Chair of Children’s Ground, I urge you to make this Royal Commission matter.
Chair, Children’s Ground
Your form has been recieved.