The National Day of Action against Youth Incarceration on October 11 was marked by a protest rally and march, which also blocked a CBD intersection.
The focus of the rally was justice for detained Aboriginal youth Dylan Voller, who was the main victim highlighted in the ABC Four Corners on the brutal regime imposed at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin. After hearing from Dylan's mother Joanne, sister Kirra and others, the protest took to the streets to demand the release of all children detained in Don Dale and the closure of the centre.
Kirra Voller said: "Dylan is scared and in danger because he has to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Juvenile Justice in the NT, and then go back into custody, where he faces possible violence. We are worried for his safety.
"About 98% of juveniles in detention in the NT are Aboriginal and the services for these young people in state care are totally inadequate."
Joanne Voller explained that she was forced to sign her son Dylan into the care of the Family and Community Services (FACS) at a young age. "FACS was not properly supervising him, and now we are being blamed for his problems," she said.
"The juvenile justice and care system is broken in the NT and around the country. We all must support the kids in Don Dale and demand that Dylan and others be released," she said.
The day marked the beginning of what protesters called a sham royal commission into the NT's youth detention and child protection. They said there is enough evidence that taking children and teenagers away from their families and communities is doing untold damage.
Photos by Zebedee Parkes