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JWS NSW --- "Outcomes Statement for the Ministerial Summit on Indigenous Deaths in Custody" [1997] IndigLawB 79; (1997) 4(5) Indigenous Law Bulletin 15

Outcomes Statement for the Ministerial Summit on Indigenous Deaths in Custody

Ed’s note: The Ministerial Summit on Indigenous Deaths in Custody was held on 4 July 1997. This was a government initiative to discuss the over–representation of indigenous people in prisons and the alarmingly high number of continuing deaths in custody. The Summit was well attended, with 20 ministers representing all state and territory jurisdictions. Members of the National Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee (NAJAC) were responsible for representing the indigenous position, established through the preceding Indigenous Summit on Deaths in Custody. NAJAC member, Alf Bamblett, commented that the Ministerial Summit gave participants an opportunity to share ides and information about initiatives which were working wihin their jurisdictions and he empahsized the need for indigenous participation, saying, ‘For the most part, these best practice examples are devised by and delivered by Indigenous people themselves.’

Gatjil Djerrkura, Chair of ATSIC, also expressed pleasure at the Summit, and the opportunity it gave for equal partnership between indigenous people and governments in discussing matters of importance to them. He commented on the goodwill and sense of cooperation shown at the Summit, though with the ‘notable


Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers with responsibility for justice, policing, correctional services, and Indigenous affairs, together with representatives of Indigenous communities, met on 4 July 1997 to examine issues relating to the implementation of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

In coming to this Ministerial Summit on Indigenous Deaths in Custody, Ministers:


To address the over–representation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system Ministers agreed, in partnership with Indigenous peoples, to develop strategic plans for the coordination of Commonwealth, State and Territory funding and service delivery for Indigenous programs and services, including working towards the development of multilateral agreements between Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments and Indigenous peoples and organisations to further develop and deliver programs.

The focus for these plans will address:

and will include

This work would take account of issues and best practices raised at this Summit by representatives of the National Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee and all jurisdictions.

Outcomes to be signed by Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers and Indigenous representatives attending the Summit.


JW Shaw (NSW)

Ann Henderson (Vic)

Kevin Lingard (Qld)

Dr Kim Hames (WA)

John Day (WA)

Peter Foss (WA)

Glynis Sibosado (WA) (Indigenous)

Trevor Griffin (SA)

Dean Brown (SA)

Denise Swan (Tasmania)

Denver Beanland (Queensland)

Russell Cooper (Queensland)

Gary Humphries (ACT)

Cheryl Buchanan (Qld) (Indigenous Rep)

Eddie Taylor (NT) (Indigenous Rep)

Lloyd McDermott (NSW) (Indigenous Rep)

Wanda Braybrook (Vic) (Indigenous Rep)

Kaye Mundine (ACT) (Indigenous Rep)

Alf Bamblett (ACT) (Indigenous Rep)

Tauto Sansbury (SA) (Indigenous Rep)

John Herron (Cth)

Daryl Williams (Cth)

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