Andrea Pickett 13h - Lethal Indifference of Agencies


Lethal indifference of agencies towards Aboriginal women

A graphic combining a woman icon and the Aboriginal flag is project onto the old East Perth police lockup building facade. In the foreground a sign that reads 'Police' with the police logo and an arrow points towards the building.

[imagecaption] Projection onto old Perth Watchhouse. Photo: Michelle Bui. [/imagecaption]

‘Andrea did everything legally possible to protect herself and her family. And she was met with almost a wall of complete and lethal indifference.’

Charandev Singh (family advocate)


‘Andrea, when she was at the police station, she actually said to them that ‘what do I have to do before you do something? Does he have to kill me first?’

Gary Bentley, Andrea’s Brother 

Police repeatedly displayed callous disregard for Andrea’s pleas for help. On one occasion she reported to Armadale Police that Kenneth Pickett had left letters and a large machete in one of their children’s bedrooms in her home, which he had entered in violation of the VRO.  When Andrea and her cousin, who attended the police station with her, returned moments after handing in the evidence, they found the officers playing around with the machete. They were told that the office was closing and the police then asked her if she wanted the machete back – the weapon that was used to intimidate her.

Like the police, Crisis Care and the Department of  Child Protection too failed Andrea. On one occasion she was asked by Crisis Care whether she could split her family up by leaving four of her children with her sister and bringing  three others with her to a refuge. She was consistently determined, however to ensure that her family stayed together and not to be separated from her youngest seven children. Crisis Care told her that they could not accommodate her due to the number of children she had.  Crisis Care officers were aware of regional refuges near Perth that could have accommodated Andrea and her seven youngest children, but they failed to offer her these options (in their words – ‘because people didn’t usually take them up on the other options, they didn’t offer them‘); options that she would have unhesitatingly taken up and would have kept her alive and with her children.


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