Over the last 30 years, an Aboriginal Australian dies in custody every month on average. In December 2015, my worst nightmare came true when I received the call telling me that my youngest son David had become one of them.
My name is Leetona Dungay, I am from Kempsey NSW, and I am determined to see justice for my son.
David was being held at Long Bay Gaol in Sydney. By December, he had almost finished his sentence and was looking forward to coming home. From what I’ve learned through the Coronial Inquest, I know that he died surrounded by six guards, gasping for air as he screamed for help. Parts of the episode were caught on video, so I had to watch my child’s last moments and the amount of pain that he was in. I cannot describe how hard that was to watch.
Over the last three years, we have been to two sessions of the Coronial Inquest, dozens of marches, and countless legal consultations. Since David died in Sydney, a long way from his home in Kempsey, most of these events have been in Sydney. Constantly travelling has has made finding work difficult, and the legal and travel costs have been piling up. I have a big family here in Kempsey, and it is important that as many of us as possible come to the Inquest sessions to spread our message, but it does get very expensive when 30 people are involved.
In September, the Coroner is presenting his findings from the Inquest, and my family and I will be in Sydney to hear the results. Between now and then, there will be more rallies and legal consultations.
I need help to continue my fight for David’s justice. Please donate to help us show the government that David is not just a statistic; that he was loved, and that he did not deserve to die in prison.
This fight is obviously personal for me, but it also represents a key case in the broader Aboriginal Deaths in Custody movement. Never before have Corrective Services officers been caught in the act like this, with video evidence. If the Coroner holds the Corrective Services officers responsible for David’s death, it will be a win for all deaths in custody, setting the precedent that prison guards cannot get away with murder.
Funds received from this page will cover the ongoing expenses of our campaign. Expenses include travel costs from Kempsey to Sydney and back, and accommodation and food while we are in Sydney.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has given to this campaign so far, and anyone reading this now.
Justice for David Dungay!