We all live on First Nations land. Sovereignty was never ceded.
There is still much work to be done to achieve justice for First Nations peoples in Naarm and across Victoria.
Since the current Victorian Labor Government came into power in 2014, the imprisonment of First Nations people has increased by 70%, mostly due to harsh bail laws and ‘tough on crime’ policies which disproportionately affect First Nations people, especially women and children.
Ellen and the Victorian Greens have taken action by:
- Introducing a bill to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14, because kids need to be treated like kids, not criminals. We’ll continue pushing this bill until Labor changes their position and raises the age.
- Introducing a bill to reform Labor’s oppressive bail laws, that are jailing record numbers of people for minor offences and which disproportionately affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- Strongly advocating alongside community to remove the offence of public drunkenness in Victoria. We will now advocate to make sure the State Government implements this reform and develops a health-based approach to drug and alcohol abuse.
- Calling on the Government to implement all recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
- Supporting indigenous campaigns for self-determination and land management.
But there is still much more to do.
Ellen and the Victorian Greens are backing Aboriginal communities in their fight to:
- End the mass imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by repealing the punitive bail laws jailing people accused of minor crimes that wouldn’t normally get a prison sentence.
- Raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 to stop children being imprisoned, in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Sign the open letter here.
- Stop police investigating police, including when people die in police custody, and to monitor racial profiling, by making police record and report the race of people they stop.
- Stop all forms of mandatory sentencing, and give judges more sentencing options, other than just prison, so they can deliver the best sentence for the community.
- Ban all forms of solitary confinement of children in detention, which is extremely damaging to young people
- Support the most marginalised and disadvantaged communities by building desperately needed public housing, and boosting under-funded public education and mental health services (instead of spending billions more on new prisons).