Write a Letter to MPs to End Indigenous Deaths in Custody
Updated: Jun 8
After a weekend of marches we can keep this movement going by writing to our local MPs and State Ministers leading up to the next Legislative Assembly which is NEXT WEEK.
NSW State Parliament will meet again on June 16th. We have the opportunity to demand that the deaths of 432 First Nations people in custody be on the agenda.
If you want to write a letter, we have written an example letter below for you to refer to. Please feel free to use this example as you see fit. Change it, add to it, express yourself however you like. What matters is that our leaders know we care about this issue and expect to see action.
Contacting them directly is one effective way to do it and the more of us that do it, the more likely they are to pay attention. So please write and encourage your friends to do the same!
If you would like to post your letter and you do not have access to stamps or an envelope let us know and we will send a stamped envelope to you.
If you are using the example letter below, please change the writing in italics as indicated.
If you are unsure who your local MP is, you can find out by searching your town here.
Once you know their name, you can find their contact details by searching for them here.
If you need a hand figuring it all out, just get in touch with us!
Underneath the example letter are two more letters: one addressed to David Elliott, the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and one to Anthony Roberts, the Minister for Counter Terrorism and Corrections. These are the two State Ministers with the authority to take action on this - so please write to them too!
And one last thing while you're at it, you can also sign this petition from Getup!: Take a Stand Against Deaths in Custody
Name of MP Address Town, State, Postcode
To the Honourable [Name of MP],
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I live in [YOUR TOWN] in your electorate. I am writing to express my concern at the inaction regarding the high number of deaths of First Nations people in custody in Australia.
There have been 432 such deaths in Australia since 1991. My understanding is that a Royal Commission into Indigenous deaths in custody made 339 recommendations to Parliament, very few of which, if implemented and reviewed effectively, have resulted in a decrease in the rate of deaths. This is unacceptable.
As your constituent, I ask that at the next Legislative Assembly on the 16th of June you urge the NSW state government to hold an independent audit of the Royal Commission’s recommendations. I ask that our government take this necessary action to work towards a safer, more equal Australia.
We have waited as a nation since 1991 for the recommendations from the Royal Commission to lead to change. What I ask is just one step we can take to end racism and unequal treatment of First Nations people in Australia. I ask that you represent your electorate and take action to save lives and bring justice that is long overdue.
My information is from the following sources:
Allam, L., 2020. ‘Deaths in our backyard’: 432 Indigenous Australians have dies in custody since 1991’, The Guardian, 1 June 2020.
Korff, J., 2019. ‘Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody’. Creative Spirits, 10 September 2019.
Anthony, T., 2016. ‘Deaths in custody: 25 years after the royal commission, we’ve gone backwards. The Conversation, 13 April 2016.
National Archives of Australia. 2020. Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (ONLINE). Accessed 6 June 2020.
Please reply to confirm you have received my request and outline your plan to do something about this issue.
Letter template for David Elliott - Minister for Police and Emergency Services:
Letter template for Anthony Roberts - Minister for Counter Terrorism and Corrections: