Thirty years ago today, over 300 recommendations were handed down in the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

At least 474 deaths have followed.

The inaction by successive governments at every level to fully implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission and prevent further Aboriginal deaths is a great injustice and shame for our nation.

As a community-based legal and advocacy service, we see the continued impacts of colonisation, systemic racism and injustice through our work with Aboriginal clients and community partners.

We acknowledge the immense emotional and spiritual grief and loss experienced by families and communities whose loved ones have died in custody and join their urgent call for action to end this injustice. Read their demands for action here.

We also stand alongside our partners at Djirra, VALS and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services in denouncing the continued inaction of governments at all levels. This is a choice our governments are making, to stand by while Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to die under their watch. Read the statement from NATSILS here.

ARC Justice supports all ten of the demands put forward by families who have lost loved ones in custody, including the need for “All levels of government to urgently prioritise the reallocation of public funding away from violent, punitive policies or on the expansion of prisons (particularly for-profit prisons), and rather focus on strengthening and improving our communities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led, grassroots solutions.”

We all have a role to play in demanding that our elected leaders take action to save Black lives. ARC Justice will continue to listen to and amplify the voices of First Nations peoples in this fight for justice.

Community and media enquiries: Acting Chief Executive Officer, Annika Kearton