Western Australian Police have apologised for removing and incarcerating Aboriginal people to so-called “lock hospitals” last century.
Between 1908 and 1919, more than 800 Aboriginal men and women were removed from all over Western Australia and sent to Bernier and Dorre Islands, for treatment for suspected venereal diseases.
During NAIDOC week, Inspector Dave Hooper admitted that Police Officers, who had no medical knowledge, were responsible for diagnosing people and because of that their diagnosis was unreliable.
Gail Bellotti, a Malgana/Naaguja woman of the Gascoyne/Murchison region of Western Australia, is a mental health advocate with the Thirrili National Indigenous Postvention Advocate WA.
Gail says the NAIDOC theme of Heal Country is also about healing people.
Report by Fiona Hayden from Radio Mama