Australian Aboriginal News & Current Affairs
The most up-to-date and relevant news stories regarding Aboriginal culture

Do you want to be the owner of this superb concert class Didj? Just answer our Questionnaire

Win a Concert Class Didj!

Visit The Didjshop - the largest and most extensive virtual didjeridu shop

Have a read of the comments left by visitors to the didjshop

Now to the story...

Palm Islanders to face court

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 29 November 2004

Thirteen people from Palm Island in north Queensland will appear in a Townsville court this morning on charges including arson and rioting.

Cameron Doomadgee's death in the police watch-house 10 days ago sparked the rioting which destroyed the island's police station.

The body of Mr Doomadgee, an Aboriginal man who died in police custody, will be returned to the island this week and a funeral is expected to be held on Friday or Saturday.

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has inspected the site, committed to rebuilding the police station and working with the council to restore order.

"Hopefully today has been a circuit breaker and we can move as soon as possible to get back to some sort of normalcy here," he said yesterday.

Council chairwoman Erykah Kyle says changes will be made.

"I believe that we will rise up and be proud of ourselves in this process," she said.

Mr Beattie says 80 armed police reinforcements will remain on the island.

He has called on the community to remain calm while the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) investigates.

"I lost a deputy premier out of one of these inquiries, they will do whatever has to be done here and I've asked the community to accept the result," he said.

The island's council is now considering a five-point plan to restore order and strengthen governance.

A former Palm Island chairman says the riots will have a lasting impact on Indigenous affairs nationally.

Robert Blackley says the unrest was triggered by a combination of poor communication from the state and community meetings by the local council.

He says he is concerned that the repercussions for Palm Islanders and Aboriginal people will be felt for years to come.

"There are many people out there that love to paint us all with the same brush and portray Aboriginal people as violent and aggressive people when the majority of them are not," he said.

At least three of the island's school teachers have decided not to return to Palm Island.

It is expected to be days before the state and Catholic schools re-open.

Teacher Nicole Duyvestyn who remained on the island, says the events of the past week have upset the children.

"You know a lot of the kids think they'll be shot by the police," she said.

"They're worried their parents or their aunty or their nanna or someone else is going to be taken away."

Return to Top

Return to The Didjshop's Aboriginal News Web Log

Links to other web sites about Aboriginal Australia

Visit The Didjshop

Check out the world's coolest shop for didgeridoos

Click here to receive occasional email Newsletters from The Didjshop

The Didgeridoo Specialist - founder of