Updated: Aug 3
I was born in 2002. She was born in 2006.
I am 16 years old. If she was still alive she would be 13.
She took her own life on the 6th March 2016, she was just 10 years old.
We know her as Case No. 4, just one of the 13 suicides of young people in the Kimberley between 2012 and 2016. All investigated by the WA Coroner in an inquest held right across the region.
Three of the children reported a history of Child Sexual Abuse.
Five of the young people were between 10 and 13 when they took their own life.
One had a full academic scholarship to attend boarding school in Victoria.
Four had been hospitalised as infants for failing to thrive.
Almost all had been exposed to alcohol abuse & the impacts of previous trauma and suicide.
Some may have attended my school.
The suicides haven’t stopped, if The Kimberley was its own country we would have the highest suicide rate in the world, we already have the highest rates in Australia. Nine out of 10 suicides in the Kimberley are of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People. People and communities are crying out for fundamental change.
The report acknowledges that sentiment, Coroner Ros Fogliani handed down 43 recommendations for organisations, government agencies & State & Federal Government. She’s acknowledged that millions and millions of dollars in Government funding have been spent in communities across the Kimberley but nothing has changed.
Some people are hopeful that change will come. Others, understandably, have lost hope. There have been over 40 reports into Aboriginal suicide in Western Australia between 2002 and 2016 with over 700 recommendations, most of which have not been implemented.
Suicide is part of the daily life of people in the Kimberley. The impacts consistently reverberating through the fabric of communities. Communities that have lost empowerment, lost prosperity and lost hope.
Crisis Support Lines Can Be Reached 24 hours a day, 7 days per week
Lifeline 13 11 14; Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467; Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800; MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78; Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636