The General Synod recognises and shares the deep concern of NATSIAC members in regard to:
The appalling number of youth suicides in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; ten times higher than the wider Australian community and notes that suicides touch 95% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
2. This Synod calls upon the government, both state and federal, to investigate the causes of these horrific statistics, and requests appropriate continuing funding to finance functional programs in consultation and negotiation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities;
3. The sad and undeniable facts concerning the disproportionate rate of incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in gaols and detention centres all over Australia.
4. This Synod strongly urges all governments, federal and state to end mandatory sentencing and to actively investigate and examine ‘best practice’ from other jurisdictions, utilise resources such as diversionary programs and changes to policies that would seek to have gaol as the last resort.
4 September 2017