600ml of water for hot four-hour journey
An Aboriginal elder who died in custody suffered third-degree burns to his stomach following his collapse in the rear of a prison van in which the air conditioning was not working, a coronial inquest in Warburton has heard. State Coroner Alastair Hope heard Mr Ward died from heat stroke on the 42C day he was transported in the rear-sealed compartment of a prison van for the 360km non-stop journey from Laverton to Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
‘Trouble-free’ respected elder succumbs in ‘furnace-like’ van
Mr Ward paid the ultimate price for a momentary lapse in judgement that led to his arrest over a traffic offence. His family could never have predicted their Australia Day celebrations would end so tragically.
A litany of failures: the tragedy of Mr Ward’s death
He literally cooked to death. Trapped in a prison van for four hours, suffocated by temperatures that climbed to more than 50C, the Aboriginal elder had no way to communicate with security officers sitting just a metre away, in the air-conditioned cab. His only sustenance was a small bottle of water and a meat pie. When he finally collapsed on the van floor, the metal was so hot it seared his skin.
Ward family seeks answers for tragedy
On January 27, 2008, a Goldfields Aboriginal elder died in custody. Natasha Boddy reports on the two-year anniversary of Mr Ward’s death – a tragic catalyst for change. When an Aboriginal elder died from heatstroke after collapsing in a prison vehicle on January 27, 2008, shockwaves went through the Goldfields. Father of four and Warburton elder Mr Ward died in unimaginably harsh conditions when he was transported in the rear pod of a State-owned prison van in searing summer temperatures in the Goldfields. The story of his death later exposed a litany of errors within the State’s prisoner transport system and privatised custodial services in Western Australia.
The family of an involuntarily mental health patient killed by a train in Kalgoorlie is demanding answers over her death, claiming they asked the hospital to place her under constant supervision.
The sultry tropical climate, the exotic bustling cities, the tantalising spicy cuisines, the luscious traditional cultures. The allure of Sarawak has many facets, as millions who come this way every year will attest. NATASHA BODDY finds that the true satisfaction lies in discovering hidden establishments off the beaten track, where a little earthiness and sincerity restores the heart of the sooty soul.