• A call for an inquiry into WA's murdered and Missing Indigenous women have been backed by thousands of signatures. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
First Nations Women gathered on the steps of Western Australia's Parliament, as their message was presented inside. They want an inquiry into the high rate of murdered and missing First Nations women.
By
Sarah Collard

Source:
NITV NEWS
19 Aug 2021 - 8:24 AM  UPDATED 19 Aug 2021 - 8:24 AM

Calls for an inquiry into murdered and missing First Nations women have moved forward, with a petition formally tabled in Western Australia's Parliament.

Thousands of people signed the petition, calling for the inquiry, along with justice for the family of murdered Noongar woman Stacey Thorne.

It was tabled in Parliament by Rosie Sahana, the MP for the Mining and Pastoral Region.

"To this day no one has been held to account for her (Stacey Thorne's) horrific murder,"  Ms Sahana told parliament.

"Aboriginal (First Nations) women in West Australia are at a high risk of murder, and as mothers are 17.5 times more likely to be the victim of homicide.

"There is also racism by the criminal justice system, leaving them and their children vulnerable.

"Perpetrators may offend with impunity."

Noongar family demands fresh murder investigation
Stacey Thorne was murdered in 2007 but the man originally accused of the crime walked free last year. Fifteen years on, her family doesn't want her story forgotten.

The petition also called for the release of a 2013 Corruption and Crime Commission report into Ms Thorne's murder, an investigation of the media reporting of First Nations women's deaths and a commitment to address structural and systemic discrimination that impedes their access to legal services, victim supports and justice.

Outside the Parliament, the families of such women, dozens of supporters and advocates gathered to demand action.

Many supporters were wearing red — the international colour to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women. 

Human rights lawyer Hannah McGlade, who organised the petition, said urgent action was needed.

"There's over 2000 people who have supported this petition calling for an inquiry into murdered and missing women and girls,"  Dr McGlade told NITV.

"We want an inquiry. We want the state to acknowledge the extent of the problem, the severity.

"This is a major human rights issue when Indigenous women and girls are being killed, going missing at such high rates and we want to see what's actually happening to address this issue."

Family of Stacey Thorne demanding answers 

The family of Stacey Thorne were also outside Parliament and said they would never give up fighting for justice on her behalf.

Ms Thorne was 22 weeks pregnant when she was killed at her Boddington home, south-east of Perth in 2007.

The man initially charged, convicted and jailed over her death was acquitted following an appeal, and a second trial last year. 

"We're here trying to get some justice for my baby sister Stacy. We're not going to give up. We want some answers. We want justice for her," Hayley Thorne said. 

The family want the public release of the state's Corruption and Crime Commission report into the police investigation of the case.

"We are still healing, it's not going to go away and we are going to keep on going just to get justice for her," Hayley Thorne said. 

Dr McGlade said the first step to addressing the problem is understanding the numbers behind just how many First Nation women and girls are missing or being murdered. 

"In every family you will find someone who is missing, who has been murdered. We have to acknowledge the problem if we are going to stop it." 

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