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Directions hearings continue ahead of inquest into 2021 death in custody of young mum

Jarred Cross -

The latest directions hearings concerning a 30-year-old Yamatji, Noongar, Wongi and Pitjantjatjara woman who died in custody at a Naarm hospital over fours years ago will commence at the Coroners Court of Victoria on Monday.

Heather Calgaret, a mother of four, died in custody at Sunshine Hospital in November 2021 after being found in a critical condition by her sister at the nearby Dame Phyllis Frost Centre women's prison.

She was 30 years old.

Ms Calgaret had been eligible for parole for almost 12 months at the time of her death.

Ms Calgaret died in police custody at the age of 30 in 2019. (Image: Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, via ABC)

Direction hearings first began in December, 2021.

Scans taken at Sunshine Hospital showed Ms Calgaret had suffered brain damage from a lack of oxygen, and that there would be investigations into whether a dose of an opioid drug given to her by prison health workers the night before being found be her sister was relevant.

A Coronial Inquest into Ms Calgaret's death will begin on 29 April 2024.

Family members have encouraged supporters to attend the hearing in-person next week.

A web link to attend the hearing is available on the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service Facebook page.

"We need to know the truth about how they treated Heather and why she died. Everyone should know what happened and everyone should have to feel some of our pain, because that is the only way this will stop," Heather's sister, Suzzane said.


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