Media release: ACTCOSS supports call for inquiry into systemic racism in Canberra’s prison

9 February 2021

The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) today called on all members of the ACT Legislative Assembly to support today’s motion by Elizabeth Kikkert MLA calling for an independent inquiry into systemic and/or institutional racism at Canberra’s prison, the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC).

ACTCOSS CEO, Dr Emma Campbell, said: “In the wake of historic allegations of racism, and the disturbing allegations last month relating to the mistreatment of an Aboriginal woman on remand in the AMC, ACTCOSS supports a call by Julie Tongs OAM, CEO of Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services, for an independent inquiry into racism at the AMC.

“Mrs Kikkert’s motion responds by calling for an inquiry to investigate and document the incidence of institutional and systemic racism in relation to the AMC and to develop advice and recommendations to address and eliminate this racism.

“The motion also calls on the ACT Government to deliver its promise to commission a review into the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in incarceration.

“We need to fix the prison. We need to fix Canberra’s justice system. Recognising and addressing systemic racism in the AMC is a critical part of this.

“We urge all members of the ACT Legislative Assembly to support this important motion.”

ACTCOSS advocates for social justice in the ACT and represents not-for-profit community organisations.

For more information or comment, please contact

Dr Emma Campbell, CEO, ACTCOSS, on 0424 910 617 or 02 6202 7200.

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