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Partnership for Justice in Health urges action on deaths in custody

The Partnership for Justice in Health (P4JH) stands in solidarity with the grieving families and communities of loved ones who have died in custody due to a failure of governments to effectively implement the clear and comprehensive recommendations outlined in the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody report, handed down 30 years ago today.

The P4JH urges the Australian media to privilege the voices of families grieving the loss of their loved ones due to failures in the justice and health systems, as they mark this confronting anniversary.

All levels of government must reflect on the loss and grief that could have been prevented had they acted on the recommendations as a matter of priority in 1991 and in the years since.

“We are sending our strength to those families and friends whose grief and trauma is compounded by that continued failure of Australian governments to act with resolve and commitment,” said the P4JH co-chairs Dr Janine Mohamed, CEO of the Lowitja Institute and Karl Briscoe, CEO of the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners (NAATSIHWP).

“Racism and discrimination are deeply ingrained and entrenched at individual, institutional and systemic levels of Australia’s health and justice systems, and must be addressed as a matter of urgency to support strong health and wellbeing outcomes”.

See the Partnerships full statement marking the 30th anniversary below.

The P4JH is an alliance of self-determining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academics, legal experts, and national peak health and justice organisations committed to working together to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and justice outcomes through addressing racism at individual, institutional and systemic levels, specifically focusing on the health and justice systems.

It was formed to pursue and demand change following the deaths of Wiradjuri woman Naomi Williams and her unborn child at Tumut Hospital in New South Wales in 2016, and of Ms Dhu in custody in South Hedland, Western Australia in 2013.

The P4JH will be formally launched at a webinar on Tuesday 18 May to discuss the imperative for eliminating racism within the justice and health systems.

Guest speakers at the webinar will include Associate Professor Chelsea Watego.

Registration details:

Contact Details: for more about the P4JH please contact the Secretariat on 02 6221 9229 or via email at


The Partnership for Justice in Health acknowledges the Traditional Owners of this Country and Elders past and present. We thank them for their continued custodianship of the many landscapes across the continent. Always Was, Always Will Be.

About the artwork...

The P4JH art and design was created by Ngarrindjeri artist, Jordan Lovegrove.


The Partnership is shown by the two large meeting places in the centre of the artwork; a healing hand to represent health and a person on scales to represent justice. The meeting places and pathways on the outside not only represent different people, families and communities, but are also in the shape of the journey the Freedom Riders travelled to draw attention to injustice and discrimination against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in 1965. The patterns within the shape show combined systems and connections working together to address racism and improve health and justice outcomes.

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