Indigenous Leader commends the WA Government commitment to the recommendations of the Coronial report into the deaths of 13 children and young people
Professor Pat Dudgeon, Project Director of the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention (CBPATSISP), welcomes the McGowan Government’s broad support for the recommendations outlined in 2018 Coroner’s report on the deaths of 13 children and young people in the Kimberley.
As the Coroner acknowledged in her report, the experience of colonisation continues to affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people today and contributes to suicidal behaviour and suicide deaths through unresolved trauma, entrenched disadvantage and disconnection from traditional culture, compounded by racism and disempowerment.
Professor Dudgeon said she was pleased that the Government supported the principles of Indigenous leadership and co-designed solutions in its interim response to the Coroner’s report.
“Our young people and our Elders must have the authority to act in our own best interests in partnership with all levels of government. I am encouraged that the WA government’s response to the Coroner’s findings, and to the earlier Message Stick report, promises Indigenous leadership in both immediate interventions to address the current suicide crisis and in the longer term to build on our cultural strengths and restore the resilience of our people and communities.”
Professor Dudgeon praised the commitment in the interim response to place-based initiatives, “informed by community, designed by community and driven by community”.
“Now we need to see the government reinforce those words with action, and honour the expertise of our people by investing in the solutions we propose,” Professor Dudgeon said. “CBPATSISP looks forward to working with our community and the government in our shared agenda to implement the findings of the ATSISPEP Report: Solutions that Work to prevent this shocking tragedy of youth suicide”.