Gillian Triggs – Human Rights Commissioner
On ABC News24 Triggs says Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s call for a Royal Commission is exactly what is needed for an issue that’s been going on for a very long time.
“This has been an ongoing matter… 98% of young people held in detention in the Northern Territory are Indigenous. That’s double the amount for Australia in total. So that one has to be aware that there's a special dimension that these children are particularly vulnerable and that we are not thinking about how we engage them in proper treatment, in education and build a pathway for the future.”
Ken Wyatt – Indigenous MP
After watching the graphic vision on Four Corners Wyatt’s first reaction was shock horror, so much that he texted the PM and spoke to Arthur Sinodinos about the need for a national intervention. He complimented the PM’s swift decision in an interview with ABC News24, he says he hope the outcome causes all governments to look at what is happening within their jurisdictions.
“It has to be thorough and needs to focus at issues that must be investigated. It has to allow evidence to come forward. It has to allow the Royal Commissioners to thoroughly examine whether it is systemic or whether it was a particular instance or incident or whether there is training that is required. If that is the case, then we also have to do that. The behaviour is not acceptable.”
Kirra Voller – sister of inmate Dylan Voller
"The detention centre staff caused him more damage and need to be held accountable for their actions."
Dylan Voller, a boy seen in video footage, being savagely attacked and inhumanely treated was one of the most targeted offenders at Don Dale detention centre. His sister says his life was stripped from him and hope has to be restored in the justice system.
Ms Voller told ABC that rather than helping her brother, the detention centre staff caused him more damage and need to be held accountable for their actions.
"These people are already full-grown adults and made that decision to harm that child while they were working… I feel like those people who did that themselves, they're responsible. They took that job on. The Government gave them … that responsibility to care for these kids…Instead they abused that role."
Michael Mansell – Aborigianl Provisional Government
The Aboriginal Provisional Government has also welcomed the inquiry, but in a statement, insists immediate positive diversion schemes be funded by Canberra in the meantime.
“Children picked up by police using "street cleaning" powers for petty offences are refused bail time and time again, with too many children left at the mercy of brutal staff in remand centres. Canberra must immediately hold discussions in the Territory to establish diversion schemes run by communities as an alternative to detention. Canberra must fund them.”
Mick Gooda - the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Social Justice Minister
In an interview with ABC News24 Gooda said overturning the culture wouldn’t be simple and would take more than just a royal commission.
“My view is we need to widen it. It can't be just a royal commission into what happened in Don Dale. Yes we've got to make people accountable, but then we've got to work out why they were in there. These are the places we particularly send kids for rehabilitation… I think the chances of those boys ever being rehabilitated in that system is absolutely zero.”
Professor George Newhouse - principal solicitor at the National Justice Project
"When it's indigenous children treated this way...the government seems to be entirely dismissive of them."
Professor Newhouse has called for a total overhaul of the youth justice system as he says the government needs to address the social, health, educational, and other disadvantages that young people suffer and divert them from youth detention, he says they all deserve a better future.
"If you were seeing non-indigenous children being treated this way, there would be a swift response from the community and the government to the problem, but when it's mostly indigenous ... the government seems to be entirely dismissive of them."