By ROD MOSS
Rickey Ryder, on the left, was killed in his mid 20s from a knife wound in the thigh inflicted by a cousin brother in a raid at Charles Creek camp.
The hospital, where he died, was accused of neglect. By the time these allegations were dismissed the perpetrator of the crime eluded apprehension. Rickey’s death precipitated others among the Ryders.
The death of 33-year-old Donny Ryder in 2009 at the hands of five young white men attracted national media.
His mother, Therese broke standard protocol allowing his photo to be published and pleading for no reprisals.
Family connections soon had the Four Corners team at my door but I could add little to what was already in the press.
Coronial reports and the hospital’s crowded emergency unit consistently showed most violence to be Aboriginal on Aboriginal.
In this instance the town’s racism occupied the bold print. Clearly Donny’s aggrieved mother thought the sentencing was racist and voiced as much as she left the court, comforted by angry family.
Many months later, another brother who’d gone missing soon after the trial, was found dead in his car far west of town.
There were others. The infant depicted here, Clinton Johnson, also died in his early 20s.
Christopher Neal, Arthur Webb and Joseph Johnson died of medical complications.
Joey Hayes was run over by car.
Jamesy Johnson, sitting with thumb in flagon, on was reputedly “sung” for drunken driving that killed elder, Alphonse Hayes, in a rollover near Emily Gap.
None were much more than 30.
Arranye was the solitary male in camp to gradually decline in his 70s.
Where else in Australia was this happening?
PHOTO AT TOP: Painting by the author. Instagram rodmoss_art