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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2021) . . Page.. 303 ..


Secondly, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led and delivered programs are what make the real difference. As I have said before in this place, while we here can intellectually understand the experience of intergenerational trauma and institutional racism, while we can empathise and do our very best to work in culturally safe ways, we simply cannot live this experience in the way that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations do.

That is why one of the priorities identified for the healing and reconciliation fund is supporting the growth of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations, in line with the priorities identified and commitments made in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. Over the weekend, the Chief Minister, the Deputy Chief Minister and I announced the initial investment to establish the $20 million healing and reconciliation fund, alongside additional funding to support the new building for Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation and to deliver on the recommendations of the Our Booris, Our Way review.

The healing and reconciliation fund will be co-designed with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to support our commitments under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement 2019-2028. Both agreements include specific targets to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the justice system, and these are commitments we take very seriously.

I commend the government’s amendment to the Assembly.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (11.26): As noted by the previous speakers, systemic racism exists across our community. It is the responsibility of each one of us to be conscious of our own biases and attitudes, and to work collectively for a more inclusive, fair and respectful society, free from prejudice and discrimination.

When a person is detained in a corrections facility with less access to support networks and advocates than they would have in the community, it is even more important that we ensure that human rights are protected. For this reason, there is independent oversight of incidents and systemic issues within the Alexander Maconochie Centre, including by the Human Rights Commission, official visitors, and the Inspector of Correctional Services.

The recent incident at AMC has brought to my attention that the Minister for Justice Health cannot refer an incident to the inspector for potential investigation. Only the Minister for Corrections can refer matters. This applies even if justice health staff are involved in an incident or if the health and wellbeing of a detainee is impacted by an incident.

I understand that the Minister for Corrections will refer this most recent incident to the inspector, and I thank Minister Gentleman for his efforts to ensure that the matter is independently investigated. A broader independent inquiry could identify any other


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