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 Island coronial inquest begins

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 28 February 2005

By Brett Judge in Townsville

Extra security will be in place for today's start of a coronial inquest into the death in custody of a Palm Island in north Queensland man last November.

The death of 36-year-old Mulrinji Doomadgee, who was arrested for allegedly creating a public nuisance, sparked a riot on the island with the police station, barracks and court house being destroyed.

The trouble flared after his family released details of a post mortem examination that found he had fractured ribs and internal bleeding.

There has since been a CMC inquiry into complaints against police and two more post mortem examinations.

Tensions remain between police and sections of the community fuelled by the controversial opening of a Police Citizen's Youth Club (PCYC) on Palm Island two weeks ago.

That facility will house the coronial inquiry starting today.

North Queensland Aboriginal leader David Smallwood says Palm Island residents are not at all confident anyone will be charged or convicted over the death.

"There are a lot of people on this island here who have been in and out of watchhouses and jails all their lives [who] know what happens in watchhouses," he said.

"For many, many years we have looked at years of deaths in custody and there is not probably one officer police officer anywhere in Queensland, let alone Australia, been charged with any deaths of any of our people."

Mr Smallwood says everyone has been waiting a long time for this inquest and he hopes it is not a white wash.

"There are a lot of allegations by members of the community over here and also in mainland Townsville that the CMC [Crime and Misconduct Commission] is not going to do the right findings for them and people are going to say, 'here we go again, police officers getting away with another death in custody'." he said.

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