Royal Commission into the Protection and
Detention of Children in the Northern Territory

 December public hearings conclude

The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory has completed its December public hearings.

Tony McAvoy Senior Counsel opened the hearings by speaking about breaking new ground and noted that as far as the Commission was aware, there had been no examples around the world of a Commission dealing with evidence from children currently in protection or detention.

As part of the hearings, Commissioners Margaret White AO and Mick Gooda visited the former and current Don Dale youth detention facilities. The visit provided important context for the Commissioners when they heard these young people giving evidence.

Watch the video of the Commissioners visit to the Don Dale youth detention facilities.

The Commission heard from two vulnerable witnesses including Dylan Voller.

Dylan Voller, former Don Dale youth detainee told his story about his experiences in youth detention. Following Mr Voller's evidence, the Commission heard from Antoinette Carroll, Youth Justice Advocacy Project Coordinator about her work with Mr Voller over the past seven years.

The Royal Commission also heard from a range of other experts about their experiences with child protection and youth detention. These included:

  • Mr Keith Hamburger, author of a recent review of the Northern Territory's Department of Correctional Services
  • Jeanette Kerr, A/g Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Territory Families
  • Dr James Fitzpatrick, Head of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and Alcohol and Pregnancy Research, Telethon Kids Institute
  • Dr Carmela Pestell, Associate Professor - Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Neuropsychologist
  • Russell Goldflam, Principal Legal Officer, Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission

The transcripts, statements and exhibits from the December public hearings are available on the Royal Commission's website.

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