Friday, 7 November 2014

Twenty-four years on and three Aboriginal children still have no justice

Between September 1990 and January 1991, Colleen Walker-Craig, aged 16, Evelyn Greenup, aged 4, and Clinton Speedy-Duroux, aged 16, went missing from the same street in the small township of Bowraville. In early 1991, the bodies of Evelyn Greenup and Clinton Speedy-Duroux were found in bushland along the Congarinni Road on the outskirts of the town. Clothing belonging to Colleen Walker-Craig was also found in the Nambucca River running through the same area of bushland, however Colleen’s body has never been found. [NSWLC Standing Committee on Law and Justice, November 2014, The family response to the murders in Bowraville report]

No-one has ever been convicted of these crimes. In 2013 the media reported that the person the indigenous community has long suspected of the murders was now employed by an agency dealing with disadvantaged and troubled youth.

In 2014 the NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Law and Justice conducted an inquiry into the handling of the murders of these three NSW Mid-North Coast Aboriginal children and handed down its first report on 6 November, The family response to the murders in Bowraville, with a second report detailing the Government response due by 6 May 2015.

The report (together with transcripts of evidence, tabled documents, submissions, correspondence and answers to questions taken on notice) was tabled in the Legislative Council at 9.43am on 6 November 2014. Members and officers stood as a mark of respect.

Relatives of the murdered children were present in the parliament.

This first report can be found here.

There are fifteen recommendations it contains:

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