Jobs Events Advertise

'Hundreds' of testimonies back WA court president's condemnation of Banksia Hill

Giovanni Torre -

The testimonies of more than 500 current and former Banksia Hill detainees reinforce the recent condemnation of the centre from the WA Children's Court president, advocates say.

In January Hylton Quail granted the request of a 17-year-old boy to serve his time at Hakea Prison rather than return him to the Western Australia's only juvenile jail.

In another case, Mr Quail ordered the conditional release of a 15-year-old boy rather than return him to Banksia Hill, describing the boy's experience as "one of prolonged systematic dehumanisation and deprivation".

"It has had no rehabilitative element or effect and has been unjustly punitive," he said.

"The conditions of his detention have not met the bare minimum standards the law requires and the court expects.

"When you treat a damaged child like an animal, they will behave like one, and if you want to make a monster, this is how you do it."

National Suicide Prevention & Trauma Recovery Project spokeswoman Megan Krakouer has been working with Gerry Georgatos since 2020 on a class action for current and former Banksia Hill detainees.

"Gerry and myself have taken testimony from more than 500 people right across the state with very similar circumstances," she said.

"If there are 100 children in there, there needs to be 100 nurturers dedicated to them. 100 per cent of them come from very tough circumstances.

"Banksia Hill is not sending people out into better circumstances; we have children going back inside ten, 12, 15 times."

A Department of Justice spokesperson said improvements were underway at Banksia Hill's intensive support unit.

"While enhancements are being made to infrastructure, recruitment has been underway for some time with 40 personnel currently in training," the spokesperson said.

"This cohort of personnel will start on site in March and April, with further candidates being recruited to training courses.

"Meanwhile, a new contemporary model of care for young people in custody is under development."

Staffing shortages and repeated lockdowns have become the norm in Banksia Hill, according to reports from detainees and their supporters.

   Related   

Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation helping First Nations people achieve their goals
Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation chief executive Joe Morrison believes First Nations people and community are at the heart of...
Brendan Foster 21 Feb 2024
Cape York Peninsula's Land & Water Plan seeking insights on top priorities and threats
Cape York Natural Resource Management is initiating a new Land and Water Plan to oversee natural resource management on Cape Yor...
Joseph Guenzler 21 Feb 2024
New co-payment medication subsidy for Indigenous patients in Queensland
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients across Queensland will be able to access a statewide medication co-payment subsid...
Dechlan Brennan 21 Feb 2024
Unis need new angle for attracting Indigenous engineers
The work of Aboriginal engineers has survived thousands of years but universities are missing out on attracting a new generation...
Rudi Maxwell 21 Feb 2024

   Giovanni Torre   

Unis need new angle for attracting Indigenous engineers
The work of Aboriginal engineers has survived thousands of years but universities are missing out on attracting a new generation...
Rudi Maxwell 21 Feb 2024
Program for young First Nations offenders expanded
A program that tries to break the cycle for Indigenous juvenile offenders by sending them to regional areas rather than detentio...
Fraser Barton 21 Feb 2024
State funeral set for Lowitja O'Donoghue
The legacy of Aboriginal rights trailblazer Lowitja O'Donoghue, who helped inspire some of the greatest changes to Indigenous re...
Neve Brissenden 21 Feb 2024
Number of Indigenous children in child protection on the rise
The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system is increasing, the latest data shows...
Andrew Brown 21 Feb 2024