The tragedy of Ms Clarke – Systemic changes to police interaction with First Nations Peoples is urgent

In the wake of the WA police’s use of lethal force against 29-year-old Aboriginal mother Joyce Clarke on 17 September 2019, NJP Director George Newhouse travelled to WA for a press conference on 2 October 2019 to highlight questions raised about the police conduct which led to Ms Clarke’s death, and the ongoing issue of Aboriginal people and in particular, Aboriginal women, dying soon after coming into contact with police in WA.

He will appear at the press conference alongside sector colleagues from Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Services, Aboriginal Legal Services Western Australia, and the National Suicide Prevention & Trauma Recovery Project.

Adj. Professor George Newhouse said of Ms Clarke’s tragic death: “This case highlights the problem that the Western Australian Police have in the way that they interact with vulnerable women. You only have to look at the horrific mistreatment of Ms Dhu, of Tamica Mullaley, of Ms Mandijarra and now, of Ms Clarke. But those women are the tip of the iceberg. If there is not an immediate cultural change, more lives will be lost.”