An Open Letter Regarding Black Lives Matter from UQ Union Council

UQ Union would like to acknowledge the death of George Floyd as one of the many murders of African Americans by police. The Office Bearers and councillors of the Union stand in solidarity with the protesters all around the world and their continued fight for freedom from racial discrimination and police brutality.

We use this time to reflect on Australia’s role in the global fight against racism. We look upon the 432 indigenous deaths in custody since 1991 as a sign, that this struggle continues. What freedoms do Indigenous Australians have when they are imprisoned at 15 times the rate of non-Indigenous people? Racists within society will point to some imaginary genetic predisposition. But Aboriginal drivers are 19 times more likely to receive a fine for seatbelt offences than non-Aboriginal drivers and 11 times more likely to be refused bail by the court. The effects of colonisation are long lasting and will continue to ravage the lives of Indigenous Australians.

The 1987 Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody spanned four years and resulted in over 339 recommendations on how to improve Australia’s prison system, of which almost 40% were never fully implemented. It is clear that justice is not colour blind in Australia and it should not be controversial to say that this period of police brutality and judicial malpractice is a stain on our nation’s conscience and must come to an end.

The global outcry of the Black Lives Matter movement has been immense and impossible to ignore. People of colour around the globe are often told that racism is no longer a problem in the modern world, their voices and complaints silenced. It is now that we have the opportunity to let them know we hear them, and we stand with them, now and until their struggle ends.

Signed by:

  • Zane Higgins
  • Chicarnee Pickering
  • Ethan Van Roo Douglas
  • Tom Landy
  • Rebekah Thornton
  • Annabel Genest
  • Lili Wackwitz
  • Emily Coggan
  • Dakoda Titmus
  • Lachlan Green
  • Christian Rizzalli
  • Sai Wai Yan
  • Bradley Plant
  • Nathan Kerr
  • Georgina Quayle
  • Oula Shihan
  • Jack Dugdale
  • Ti Parker
  • Lachlan Hardie
  • Chloe Ainscow
  • Justin Gane
  • Priya De
  • Maddy Taylor
  • Ian Trinh
  • Drew Pavlou
  • Tim Heffernan
  • Billie Kugelman
  • Mitchell Ablett-Nelson
  • Allen Ding



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