A 10-year-old Aboriginal girl has committed suicide on Sunday in a bush community of Looma situated in the West Kimberly region in far north Western Australia.
The girl is the youngest among the 19 Aboriginal people who committed suicide in remote areas since December. Suicide researcher Gerry Georgatos said that he will be travelling to Looma to show his support for the community and will act as a coordinator for the Indigenous suicide response unit. The unit is a trial program that focuses on offering cultural assistance based on the suitability of the disturbed community. The Guardian AU said it is a unit funded with $1 million by the federal government to look into the flow-on impact of suicides.
“This tragedy has affected not only her community but surrounding communities that she had been moved around within,” Georgatos told The Guardian Australia. “Many families and communities need support,” he said.
The trip would be the researcher’s 16th time for the cause. Prior to this, he visited the Goldfields community near Kalgoorlie, where three people killed themselves in a month. Georgatos added that three kids were buried in five days in the community. The graves of the three were in a row alongside each other.
A WA support group has come in favour of the revolution against suicides. A support worker said that the apparent death of a 10-year-old girl must get attention from across the nation. According to the ABC, a planning is in progress to investigate dozens of Indigenous suicides reported from Pilbara and Kimberley.
WA Child Protection Minister Helen Morton said that it was “devastating” that a 10-year-old took her life, which again has become one of the major concerns for the government working on the protection of the rights of the Aboriginal community.
“Aboriginal families have been working really hard to protect their children from suicide, and the number of young Aboriginal people dying from suicide has been declining continuously since 2011,” Morton said. “Children in WA shouldn’t be dying like this. We all have a responsibility to make sure children are safe no matter where they live.”