Deathscapes

Andrea Pickett 13i - The Inquest

Deathscapes

The Inquest and the Aftermath

Half a dozen family members, including Andrea's Mother and siblings, can be seen gathered on the steps in front of a court building. The woman at the front in the foreground holds a framed photo of Andrea Pickett. Everyone in the photo is wearing black clothes and about half wear black sunglasses to cover their eyes.

[imagecaption] Andrea Pickett’s family gather outside the Perth Coroner’s Court, Boorloo (Perth), Whadjuk Noongar Boodja, 2012. Photo: Charandev Singh. [/imagecaption]

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Andrea was killed by her estranged husband on 12 January 2009 at her cousin’s house, where she had sought refuge. It took more than three years of sustained lobbying by Andrea’s family and through the Victims of Crime Reference Group on behalf of the family, for an inquest to be held at the Perth Coroner’s Court in June 2012. The combined efforts of family and advocates resulted in the first systemic family violence inquest in Western Australian legal history. The seven-day inquest hearing was held at Perth Coroner’s court in June 2012. The Aboriginal Family Law Service (AFLS) and the Australian Human Rights Commission applied to be parties at the inquest, underlining its national importance.

Following the inquest, Coroner Hope made seven recommendations. They related to safety plans to protect victims of crime prior to the release of perpetrators on parole, the provision of crisis accommodation, reviewing risk assessments and monitoring procedures of parolees and better communication between community corrections and the police.


‘While the  inquest effected some systems wide changes, issues of racism and discrimination that Andrea experienced, in common with many Noongar women, were not addressed. I am concerned that positive gains made by Andrea’s inquest, one of the first family violence inquests in Australia, are not being remembered.’ 

Hannah McGlade


 

 


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