Emergency Fundraiser to Support the Family of Aunty Tanya Day for her death in custody coronial inquest.
Our Mum, Tanya Day a proud Yorta Yorta woman, mother, grandmother and activist, died in custody as a result of her mistreatment in Victoria Police custody on 5 th December 2017.
Mum was sleeping on a train heading to Melbourne when a ticket inspector woke her up and contacted police and labelled her unruly. This was the beginning of our Mum’s death
Victoria Police attended the train and woke our Mum up again and arrested her for public drunkenness. This ‘crime’ has been repeatedly used by Police to target Aboriginal people. At the time of Mum’s death in custody; Aboriginal women were eleven times more likely to be
arrested for public than non-Aboriginal women.
There have been eleven recommendations made to the Victorian Government in thirty-one years by Royal Commissions and Independent Inquiries to decriminalise public drunkenness. Successive Victorian Government have refused to decriminalise public drunkenness and Victoria and Queensland are the only two states that have refused to do so.
Mum was placed in a cell at the Castlemaine station despite her own pleas that she should not been held in custody. Mum was an anti-deaths in custody campaigner and had been raising funds for a family whose son had died in New South Wales four months earlier.
Within minutes of being placed in the cell Mum suffered repeated falls including one fall that inflicted horrific head injuries. For the over four hours she spent in the cells; we believe that Victoria Police officers never responded to any of the falls Mum suffered and never
undertook any appropriate cells checks as required according to their own procedures.
Soon after our Mum was finally sent to hospital, she lost consciousness and died on 22nd December 2017 due to traumatic brain injuries she suffered in Victoria Police custody. She was only 55 years old and had so much to live and fight for.
Since Mum’s death we have fought for accountability for her death. We demanded an inquest be held and for the first time in an Aboriginal death in custody – the question of the role systemic racism played in our Mum’s death will be part of the scope of the inquest. We have also been fighting for an independent investigation of our Mum’s death and the decriminalisation of public drunkenness.
Our family has already experienced three deaths in custody and one death in the mental health system in the last three generations. We are committed to bringing an end to this endless killing of our People.
We have already attended 4 Coroners Court hearings in just over 8 months, and we are facing a three-week inquest from 26 th August to 13 th September 2019.
As a large extended Family; we have very significant accommodation, travel, and living expenses to ensure that our Family can attend the inquest from Echuca/Moama, Wodonga and different parts of Melbourne every day including providing for Elders and our Uncles (Our Mum’s brothers) travelling from Yorta Yorta Country. We also hope to have a short break to recover from the inquest hearing which will be highly traumatic for our Family and the Community.
We have received immense support for our petitioning, campaigning and media work to try and expose the circumstances of our Mum’s death in custody. Now we are urgently asking each of you to make a donation so that we can sustain ourselves through the inquest hearing process.
Any financial support that you’re able to contribute in the next two weeks will be immensely appreciated by our Family and will only be used for the above reasons and for our ongoing campaigning against deaths in custody.