Indigenous Human Rights *Aborigines *
Racism * Abuse of Power * Activism
Mulrunji & Eric Doomadgee * Murri + More




October Protest

November March

Protest Pix

NEW 10-9-06


Something's Wrong

Mulrunji's Son



Welcome to

BE ADVISED: There are images of passed ones here. If that would disturb you, proceed accordingly.


The silenced voice of murdered Mulrunji (Cameron Doomadgee) speaks to us from beyond the grave about the evils and injustices of racism and racial violence. It asks us to use our own voices to speak out for those who no longer can, and those unborn souls who cannot yet speak. 

Cameron Doomadgee is now refered to as Mulrungi, a traditional local Murri word meaning "the dead one". The Doomadgee family & Palm Islander's have decided upon this until the day justice is realized for Mulrungi, his family & the Aboriginal community.

Mulrunji's neighbors considered him a good traditional man. All are entitled to equal protection under the law, and while in police custody. Excessive violence must be curbed, even if it means public policing of the police forces. Get the word out and build public sentiment and support for activism. Minorities cannot protect themselves alone. If you care, find a tangible way to show it. Support the rights of indigenous people. If you have a value, stand up for it. Become part of the solution, now.

For the full report on Mulrunji's death click on "ABOUT PAGE".

NEWS 2008

Also see:



Palm Island tensions flare again on claims Submit comment By Peter

SENIOR police have flown to Palm Island to try to calm the north
Queensland Aboriginal community amid claims of police victimisation.

The rising tensions followed a tough new alcohol crackdown and after a
police ethical standards investigation cleared two officers who ordered
an Aboriginal man to publicly strip to his underwear for a search.

Palm Island leaders, elders, Aboriginal lawyers and civil libertarians
slammed the findings as "bodgy, utterly unacceptable and a clear breach
of police powers".

They warned of rising anger among residents who believed they were being
unfairly targeted and discriminated against by the tough new grog laws.

"People are angry. They feel like there is one law for whites and one
for blacks," deputy mayor Raymond Sibley said.

"And now with police pulling people up and strip searching them in
public, it is getting out of hand."

It comes ahead of a high-profile test case involving a Palm Islander,
expected to affect hundreds of cases statewide.

The case, to be heard on appeal in Townsville Supreme Court in July,
revolved around whether the grog laws were racially discriminatory.

Father-of-three Charlie Gibson, who was the subject of the strip search
last October, filed a complaint to the Crime and Misconduct Commission
after he was ordered to publicly disrobe, exposing his genitals in front
of women and children.

He said he had been publicly humiliated and shamed in front of his

Officers found no drugs or alcohol in his possession.

Ethical Standards Command handed down its findings on May 17, dismissing
the complaint as "unsubstantiated" and saying the officers acted

Assistant Commission Northern Region Paul Wilson and a Brisbane-based
Deputy Commissioner flew to the island off Townsville to discuss
concerns on Monday.

Palm Islanders rioted and burned down the police station in 2004 in the
aftermath of the Aboriginal death-in-custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee.

Australian Council of Civil Liberties president Terry O'Gorman yesterday
called for the CMC to immediately review the police investigation.

"Police must take reasonable care to protect the dignity of the person
being searched," he said.

"It is a flagrant and fundamental breach of police powers, which
prohibits that sort of police conduct."

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service chief executive
Shane Duffy said he had received complaints of police conducting illegal
public strip-searches at Palm Island, Mount Isa and Mackay.

Senior Program Officer


2006 Rally 11am Saturday Nov 18
Rally Queens Park Corner of George and Elizabeth Sts, Opp casino
March through the city to Musgrave Park
For Info or endorsement Ph: Sam Watson 0401227443

National Day of Action:

Justice for Mulrinji Stop Black Deaths in Custody

Stop Police Brutality, Stop Police Brutality, Murder & Racism
! The full implementation of the findings of the Royal
Commission into Black Deaths in Custody.
!Reopen all contested deaths in custody cases.
!Drop the charges against the Palm Islanders who rose up
in grief after the killing of their brother, Mulrinji.
Two years ago, Mulrinji, a fit 36-year-old Aboriginal man was taken into police custody -
an hour later he was dead with 4 broken ribs & his liver split in two. While police claimed
he “fell”, the Coroner’s report into the death found that Mulrinji should never have been
arrested, & that he was killed by Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley. Mulrinji is one of hundreds
of Aboriginal people who have died in custody, yet not ONE police officer has been jailed.
It’s time to stand up and demand justice. On Nov 18, the 2-year anniversary of Mulrinji’s
death, people across Australia will rally demanding an end to the epidemic of police
brutality and racism. Join us!





The Coroner’s report was handed down today Wednesday the 27th September 2006.

The Queensland Deputy State Coroner, Ms Christine Clements found in favour of the Doomadgee family & Palm Island Community today. Ms Clements report stated that Mulrunji should never have been arrested, labeling the arrest as “not an appropriate exercise of police discretion”. Ms Clements found that Mulrunji was hit by Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley after Mulrunji's arrest, and that Mr Doomadgee died from the injuries resulting from Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley’s “sustained attack” upon him.

Ms Clements found that while Chris Hurley was hitting Mulrungi, that Hurley had asked the victim "Do you want more, Mr Doomadgee? Do you want more?'' and dragged Mulrungi into the cell in which he died. Ms Clements said Hurley had been “callous & deficient” in not calling for medical help for Mulrungi.

Coroner Clements also heavily criticized the police investigation stating “…there was a suggestion of collusion between police" (The Australian news paper 28th Sept. 06), and in her report Ms Clements described the police investigation as "lacking in transparency, objectivity and independence". Ms Clements noted that Hurley had picked the investigating officers up from the Islands airport, shown them around the crime scene & had had dinner at with Hurley that evening at his home.

Ms Clements has made 40 recommendations in her report including “…that there should be more alternatives to arrests and that the police response should be changed to make arrests a last resort”. About the historical context of the whole issue of Aboriginal deaths in police custody Ms Clements commented “…It is reprehensible that the declared recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1993) should be have to be referred to so many years after the Royal Commission. The evidence is clear however that these recommendations are still apt and still ignored”.

However Ms Clements does not have the legal power to recommend that Senior Sgt Chris Hurley be charged with murder. Ms Clements declared “it is now up to the Department of Public Prosecutions to decide whether Senior Sgt Hurley should be charged in relation to the death”. The Attorney General Ms Linda Lavarch has given the inquest report to the Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms Leanne Clare to judicate upon the matter.
(The Courier mail & ABC News; 26 -28th Sept 06).

Ms Clements stated in handing down the inquest findings that “I conclude that these actions of Senior Sergeant Hurley caused the fatal injuries”. (The Australian, 28th/09/06).

The Police Commissioner’s office stated that they will give a formal response to the coroner’s findings once they have reviewed the full report. However in a media conference held today the Queensland Police Union (QPU) general president Gary Wilkinson declared the inquest into Mulrungi's death a ‘witch-hunt’. Mr Wilkinson stated that Coroner Clements had ‘cherry picked’ her way through the evidence & that it reflected her anti police agenda. In defense of Chris Hurley, Mr Wilkinson stated he considered Hurley to have done nothing wrong & that he had “…been hung out to dry by her" (

The Brisbane news paper 'The Courier Mail' reported Gary Wilkinson (Qld Police Union president) as saying in reference to Coroner Clements …”It’s either a deliberate act of bringing down these findings, that are completely wrong, or it is incompetence”. Mr Wilkinson also accussed the coroner of having an anti police agenda.

Queensland Bar Association president Martin Daudney stated he was “gravely concerned” by the QPU president Gary Wilkinson’s public statements & called them an “intemperate personal attack”. Mr Daudney went onto say that the extent of Mr Wilkinson’s personalized attack upon coroner Clements “ attaching the integrity of the judiciary …that is an extraordinary thing for a police representative to do”. Other senior legal figures have warned that Wilkinson could face contempt charges. (,23599,023494540-2,00.html; 5th /10 /06)

Terry O’Gorman (prominent Lawyer & Queensland and Australian Councils for Civil Liberties advocate) has called for Gary Wilkinson to be charged with contempt. This call has been ignored by the authorities.

Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson does not believe that any officer should be stood down from duty as a result of the inquest findings. On Thursday the 28th of September Bob Atkinson assigned Chris Hurley to non-operational desk duty. This action has angered the Aboriginal Communities & activists and academics & Lawyers have voiced their shock at the minor remedial action been taken to date. Commissioner Atkinson decided against suspending Sen-Sgt Hurley while the DPP looked into the matter, instead restricting him to desk duties. He was backed by Premier Peter Beattie and Police Minister Judy Spence. (The Sunday Mail, 8th October 2006).

On September 30th, Michael Reynolds has again called on the Police Commissioner to give full consideration to reviewing his decision not to stand down Snr Sgt Hurley from the police service and instead give him office duties. He says he stood down child safety officers in his previous portfolio for much less than the allegations against the officer. (ABC ON-LINE, Saturday September 30, 2006. 12:40pm, AEST)

The following week Chris Hurley temporarily stood aside, due to the growing public debate. He did so voluntarily but has done so on full pay.

The official response by Premier Peter Beattie to the inquests recommendations for change to policing practise has been to establish a 'Task force', as out lined in an ABC (Australia Broadcasting Corporation) news report: "Task force assigned to Mulrunji findings ...The Queensland Premier has established a high-level response team to work through each of the recommendations from a coroner's report into the death of a Palm Island man ...Peter Beattie says he has discussed the report with the Police Minister, Attorney General, Crown solicitor and members of his own department. He says the response team will prepare a recommendation for Cabinet, which will be examined before the end of the year. I would obviously appeal to people to accept the fact that the coroner's recommendations will need to be considered and they will be dealt with in two ways," he said. One, any future action concerning the officer concerned must go through due process and that's a matter for the DPP. Any issue in relation to individual recommendations for government will be considered by the high level task force." (; down loaded: 8:40 pm, 27th.09.06).

NEW 12th October 2006:

“Shame of palming off report”

The political response to a judicial inquiry is out of order, writes Andrew Boe the acting solicitor for the Doomadgee family:

6 October 2006 - Queensland's acting coroner Christine Clements last week published findings concerning the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee in Palm Island. He was found dead in a police cell in November 2004, less than an hour after being arrested for swearing as he was walking home. Clements found that Chris Hurley, a senior sergeant, angrily punched him several times while he was on the floor and that these actions "caused the fatal injuries".

Clements, who said Doomadgee should never have been arrested, severely criticised the entire police investigation. She added that "clear directives from the police commissioner and a commitment to ensure proper standards of investigation are required to restore public confidence". She was referring to the disinterest and obstructiveness by senior police called to give evidence.

It cannot be disputed that policing in indigenous communities is difficult. The well-documented socioeconomic failings in these communities cannot be ignored in any analysis or in devising effective policing policies. These difficulties cannot, however, condone police thuggery or collegiate and institutional indifference towards such conduct.

There has been significant political blustering as a result of these scathing findings. Important points have been deflected by Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson, Police Minister Judy Spence and Premier Peter Beattie.

For example, much has been made about the coroner not recommending criminal charges. Yet amendments to the Coroners Act 2003 changed the function of coroners: they are no longer permitted to determine whether any person is to face trial.

The purpose of an inquest was refined so a coroner could get to the truth as to how a death occurred without being hindered by the rules of evidence that might apply in any trial.

The other public responses of the commissioner and the Government suggest these findings came as a surprise or have little relevance. These responses are disingenuous and unsatisfactory.

It is nearly two years since Doomadgee's death. The process took much longer than it should have, primarily due to two unsuccessful appeals brought by Atkinson and Hurley against some rulings made by Clements.

Atkinson first sought to prevent the parties having access to records of previous complaints made against Hurley (by others who claim to have been assaulted by him in Palm Island) and how they had been investigated (and dismissed) by the police. Second, they argued that a coroner was not entitled to take any of these previous matters into account in making her findings. These arguments were rejected in two Supreme Court rulings.

Throughout this process, police interests were forcefully asserted by senior counsel and teams of lawyers. Every opportunity was afforded to them to make their positions known in respect of damning evidence. Incidentally, the commissioner publicly declared his support for Hurley in The Australian on the first day of the inquest.

It is in this light that the failure of the commissioner to make any adequate response, or for Spence and Beattie to now criticise some of the recommendations, should be viewed. Each of them has been aware these issues were being canvassed in the inquest and none took the proper opportunity to sensibly contribute to this important independent judicial inquiry. The decision of the Government and commissioner not to make any submissions to the coroner was a cynical political exercise.

The inaction in respect of the findings is appalling. Announcements that a special taskforce would examine the coroner's findings to look at implementation, and that the commissioner would review matters before deciding what to do in respect of the findings, are insulting.

The suggestion that a taskforce could be impartially headed by the Premier's director-general is open to criticism that he will be conflicted in assessing whether to implement any recommendation because of his primary duty to protect the interests of his boss. He is being asked to assess Government decisions which may have contributed to the parlous state of policing in question.

Of course, nothing should interfere with the Department of Public Prosecutions' independent decision on whether to prosecute Hurley. However, does that absolve the entire administration from responding to these serious findings? The findings cannot be dismissed as mere allegations.

Finally, Gary Wilkinson, president of the Police Union, who contemptuously dismissed the findings as rubbish before embarking on a personal attack on Clements, most transparently reflects police interests in this matter.

However, the dismissal of Clements's findings by the Premier, the Police Minister and the commissioner is more concerning. It underpins the systemic and political disregard for any criticism of policing even if it follows a judicial process covering nearly two years and which comes from a judicial officer hand-picked by this Government.

A responsible government would act swiftly. The coroner's findings comprise the third official report that the Queensland Government has commissioned about Palm Island since the death and riots. The other two are from a parliamentary committee and from a lawyer. Both were commissioned by Beattie's Government and both are gathering dust.

Andrew Boe appeared for the Palm Island Council and community at the inquest.

Source: The Australian

More updates to follow!





TEEN JAILED for an ice cream

Back to ‘Joh land’ says Watson
Issue 114 - 21 Sep 2006

ISSUE 114, September 21, 2006: Aboriginal activist Sam Watson claims Queensland has set the political clock 30 to 40 years to “Joh land”.

He spoke on Friday at a Brisbane rally protesting Premier Peter Beattie’s controversial decision to scrap the state’s Indigenous policy portfolio.

About 30 people chanted “shame Beattie shame” and marched on the Queensland Executive Building demanding to meet the Premier to get him to reverse the decision.

Last week, Mr Beattie announced the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy would be abolished and folded into the Communities portfolio.

Indigenous activist Sam Watson - who stood against Mr Beattie in the state election just days before the announcement - told reporters that Mr Beattie’s new changes were reminiscent of the former Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen

“He has set the political clock back 30 to 40 years - we feel as though we are in Joh land,” Mr Watson said.

Mr Watson later said he would still seek an urgent meeting with Mr Beattie, saying it was a “life and death” matter.

“We are absolutely ropeable. This means life or death out there. Aboriginal people are really going to suffer by this (decision to scrap the portfolio),” he said.

“We have Aboriginal people in crisis situations seven days a week, 24 hours a day - we need urgent government intervention and assistance.

“We are not going to achieve this by being one of a group of portfolios.

“We really believe this is ...racist.”

Mr Watson said more protests would be held outside the Executive Building if Mr Beattie did not respond to his invitation to meet.

But when asked at a press conference whether he would meet the protesters, Mr Beattie said he was too busy.

“I am actually going to a meeting back upstairs. I have no difficulty meeting anybody and I have got a whole lot of things to do today,” he said. – AAP




Aboriginal youths are 38 times more likely to be jailed than their white counterparts. 56% of those are remanded in custody. Society needs to address this disparity.

A 15-year-old aboriginal boy was detained in custody after being sent more than 1500km from his home for stealing a $2 ice cream cone. A trip to Perth for Children's Court proceedings cost the state $10,000.

ELSEWHERE, during riots on Palm Island, Queensland, AU., an arresting officer had a record of using excessive force causing injury. Palm Island riot police got no penalty for misconduct, which caused a state of emergency in July 2005. Nearly 20 more locals were charged over the riot, reacting to unlawful entry and more excessive force.

Check back here often
for breaking news on abuse of human rights of indigenous peoples

We will continue to post updates
and related stories to racial injustice.
Email Advocates

whether it is used to kill, maime, or humiliate

Story by Journalist Steve Connolly;
19th May, 2005.

posted at

Noose case inflames race tensions:

One law for whites, another for blacks. Aboriginal leaders are convinced that's the state of play with the justice system in Queensland. Small fines handed out this week to a white man and his son who assaulted an indigenous teenager and dragged him with a noose around his neck have inflamed already tense race relations on the Queensland-NSW border.

David Hillary Tomkins, 44, and his son Clint William Tomkins, 23, faced court in the southern Queensland town of Goondiwindi over the assault on 16-year-old Alan Boland on November 30 last year.

The incident happened on a farm outside Goondiwindi where both Tomkins worked just four days after riots occurred in the indigenous community of Palm Island, off the north Queensland coast. Rioters there burned down the local police station and courthouse after learning a man who died in custody a week earlier had suffered injuries including a punctured lung and broken ribs.

Publicity surrounding Palm Island ensured that the Goondiwindi noose incident would also attract national attention. And this week it has become the source of outrage for the Aboriginal community after what was supposed to be a committal hearing for Tomkins and son on serious assault charges ended with both being fined $500. Charges against the pair were reduced from assault causing bodily harm to assault and both pleaded guilty. The two farm employees were also ordered to each pay $300 compensation to the victim and had their convictions recorded.

What had been a small crowd of about 25 protesters when court proceedings began that day quadrupled as the Tomkins were helped out a side door with police protection.
Protesters waved placards declaring "one law for whites and one law for blacks - still" and "this is KKK land".

Mr Boland, still said to be traumatised by the incident, did not attend court to give evidence.

Local indigenous leader Bert Button said the youth's mother Roslyn Boland was pressured by prosecutors into accepting a plea bargain. He said she agreed to the proposal not realising that David and Clint Tomkins would escape jail. Aboriginal Legal Aid will appeal to the Director of Public Prosecutions and Queensland Attorney-General Rod Welford, while civil action against the Tomkins is being considered.

"This is going to incite racial violence," Mr Button said. "The justice system stinks. It's saying it's all right for non-indigenous people to go and put a rope around someone's neck and drag them up and down a river and give them a flogging. We're saying that's not on."

High profile Aboriginal activist Murrandoo Yanner, who was prominent in the aftermath of the Palm Island controversy, said the leniency of the decision was outrageous. "I bet if two black-fellas had gone out and done that to two or three white children we would not be receiving a $800 fine," he said. "That alone is the essence of the proof of racism. "You can't imagine two blacks being let off with a $800 fine for doing a similar thing, that's impossible in this state." But the lawyer for the two men strongly rejects the argument that race played a part in the incident and that they were just protecting property.

Mr Boland was with three other residents of the Toomelah Aboriginal Mission, just across the NSW border from Goondiwindi, on the day of the incident at the farm. His mother said they were looking to steal marijuana.

The Tomkins' lawyer Robbie Davies said the farm had been subjected to frequent break-ins and local police had given the owner permission to restrain offenders. Mr Davies said the Tomkins' actions were not race related. "It's a pity they didn't have the hindsight to put a rope around his waist and not his neck," he said. "This is not a racial event. It would have been the same if it was a white youth.
It's been misconstrued to everyone's grave horror and concern."

Police in Goondiwindi reported a quiet night after Wednesday's controversial court case. But the region has known race trouble in the past and friends of the Tomkins have reportedly said the family fears reprisals. "They've received death threats, been threatened to have their house burned down. They're doing it tough," family friend Kurt Rabbitt said earlier this year.,10117,15339403-1248,00.html,10117,15339403-1248,00.html

Racism still mars the beauty of Australia

Send an Email

(c)2005-2007 Indigenous Advocates
Last Updated, 9/2006 - 3/2007 Io Web