PUBLISHED02 Nov 2021

Truth-telling & Incarceration Nation


A panel with First Nations voices about justice, racism and a better future

Incarceration Nation tells the stories of strength, resilience and survival of First Nations people in the face of racism and violence of our justice system. How can we decolonise and break down this system?

Documentary Australia Foundation is proud to present TRUTH-TELLING & INCARCERATION NATION, a free online panel discussion with Apryl Watson (Dhadjowa Foundation), Carly Stanley (Deadly Connections), Dr Crystal McKinnon (Justice Connect) and Dr Thalia Anthony for a powerful discussion about Incarceration Nation and building a better future.

This special panel was moderated by Karina Hogan.

The Conversation

Incarceration Nation

Australia was founded with a clear purpose, to create a prison island. 230 years later, our incarceration rates are amongst the highest in the world, costing our nation billions of dollars. But the most devastating cost is the erosion of the culture, values and wellbeing of our First Nations Peoples.

Incarceration Nation reveals the systemic injustice and oppression of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that has created an Internationally recognized human rights catastrophe. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are amongst the most incarcerated people in the world – 3% of the population and 27% of prisoners.

We are in the midst of a new convict era. Incarceration Nation will put the justice system on trial. The film will ask why petty crimes like unpaid parking fines, can lead to imprisonment. We’ll highlight the costs of our current system – both economically and socially, by forensically examining our Nation’s law enforcement, judicial, and prison systems.

Watch it on SBS On Demand


The Panel


Apryl Watson, Dhadjowa Foundation
Apryl Watson a proud Yorta Yorta, Wemba Wemba and Barapa Barapa woman became a strong advocate in ending Aboriginal deaths in custody after her mother Tanya Day died in police custody in 2017. Apryl is also currently working in research to improve Aboriginal health and wellbeing.

Carly Stanley, Deadly Connections
Carly Stanley is the CEO and Co-Founder of Deadly Connections. Carly is a proud Wiradjuri woman, born and raised on Gadigal land. Carly founded Deadly Connections in 2018 as an Aboriginal led, community focussed, grassroots not-for-profit organisation. Carly has both lived and professional experience in a number of community services areas but has spent over 20 years working across the govt and non-govt sector supporting justice involved people, families and communities. In addition to Carly’s professional expertise, she also holds a Masters of Criminology and other academic qualifications that compliment her practical acumen.

Dr Crystal McKinnon, Justice Connect
Dr Crystal McKinnon is an Amangu Yamatji academic, researcher and community organiser. She is a historian and a critical Indigenous studies scholar, who is currently working at RMIT as a Vice Chancellor’s Indigenous Research Fellow in the Social and Global Studies Centre. Her research work has looked at concepts of Indigenous sovereignty, justice and law, and Indigenous social movements, resistance and protest.

Dr Thalia Anthony, UTS
Dr Thalia Anthony is an expert on criminal law and procedure and Indigenous people and the law. Her research is grounded in legal history and understandings of the colonial legacy in legal institutions. She has developed new approaches to researching and understanding the role of the criminal law in governing Indigenous communities and how the state regulates Indigenous-based justice strategies. Her research is informed by fieldwork in Indigenous communities such as Warlpiri communities in central Australia and partnerships with Indigenous legal organisations in Australia and overseas.

Moderator: Karina Hogan
Karina Hogan is a radio producer, board director and social action advocate. Working with ABC for over 10 years across a range of stations. In 2019 she worked with the Brisbane Indigenous Media Association – 98.9fm Let’s Talk program/podcast to confront and raise Indigenous issues. With a focus on creating thought-provoking conversations and ensuring governance Karina focuses on achieving better outcomes for her people.