The following is an abridged version of one of the victim statements I have been collecting in support of an application to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, alleging human rights violations against Australia’s indigenous peoples by the Australian Government and its agencies. As some of the victims who have provided me with statements have been harassed, the name has been changed to protect her anonymity.
Without any further introductions, I will let the victim speak in her own words.
My full name is Lucinda McMillan, I reside at […] I am an Aboriginal Australian and I have been employed as a […] since 1988.
I am providing this statement to Mr Mullins in support of a submission that he is preparing to be placed before the United Nations Human Rights Commission. I have been offered no inducements of any kind to make this statement, and I make it of my own free will.
Around 1999-2000 I was spending some time at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy (ATE) in Canberra. During my time at the ATE I was a frequent visitor to the Belconnen Mall which I viewed as my time out space. On one of my visits to the Belconnen Mall and as I was walking along the street in front of the Belconnen Mall, diagonally opposite Cash Converters, I was approached by two men, the first man was of Mediterranean appearance, olive complexion, green eyes, about five foot, six or seven inches, the second man had salt and pepper hair, dark eyes and was also about five foot six or seven. As I approached these men the first man said to the second man “look another fucking boong slut come to our town to cause more trouble, fuck she is after our back yards”, I can still remember these words like they were only spoken yesterday.
On hearing this comment I said “what was that you said you ignorant racist pig”, or words to that effect. After saying this, the first man turned to me and said “call me sir when you address me you boong whore”. Before I could say anything else the first man had punched me in the face, causing me to fall backwards and hit my head on the footpath. He then learned down, so that he was standing over my face and said “next time I see you in my town you boong slut, it will be the last thing you ever do”, he was salivating and almost frothing at the mouth as he spoke these words to me.
Another passer bye on seeing what had just happened flagged down a passing police car. Two officers got out and seeing me lying on the ground came over and asked me what had happened. After explaining what had happened and pointing to my attackers the two officers approached them. The group, comprising the two police officers and my attackers spoke for maybe thirty seconds to one minute.
On returning to me one of the officers said that the two men “claimed that I had tripped”. When I responded by saying that I was punched in the face by the first man, the officer responded with “the person that you are alleging attacked you is a well-known Canberra identity and friends with […], I suggest that you go to the doctor and have your injuries checked out”. The officer then refused my request to take a statement from me.
At my insistence, the officer handed me a business card, which has the name Paul Gurn, Constable on it along with the words Australian Federal Police and the AFP logo. I have provided Mr. Mullins with a copy of this card to form part of my statement.
Immediately after this incident I made my way to Queanbeyan by bus, where I stayed with friends. […] treated me for my injuries which included a black eye, bruised face, and abrasions to the back of my head and a number of chipped teeth […].
While recuperating in Queanbeyan I went to the […] hotel in Queanbeyan and noticed that my assailant was drinking there with an older man, who I later learned was his father.
I approached my assailant in the […] hotel and asked him why he attacked me. He responded by letting fly with a number of racist expletives. I was then escorted from the […] hotel by the hotel bouncer.
I later learned, after seeing my first attacker […] that his name is […] and that he […]. On learning the name of my first attacker I attempted phoned Constable Gurn at the Belconnen Police Station, using the number that is printed on the card given to me by the police officer who spoke to me at Belconnen. I was advised that Constable Gurn was not on duty and that someone would get back to me. Nobody ever did.
After realising that there is no justice in Canberra for Aboriginal people who are the victims of ‘white’ racially motivated hate crimes, I returned home in disgust to […].
What this incident has demonstrated to me is that in Australia there are two very distinct sets of rule. One applies to white Australians and the other applies to black Australians and some other marginalised groups. I was denied justice for crimes that were committed against me by a white Australian because I am an Aboriginal Australian. The Australian Federal Police refused to take a complaint from me, about what happened to me, because I am an Aborigine. This became very clear to me during my dealings with them over the assault on me.
I advised Mr Mullins that he could contact […] to confirm the details of what happened to me at Belconnen and afterwards.
I regard what happened to me in Belconnen and my subsequent treatment at the hands of the Australian Federal Police as being nothing less than a subtle form of state sanctioned genocide.