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Protest: 13yo girl who died in State care

Father, Musgrave Park Sovereign Tent Embassy in protest

Lara Lauth, City South News Quest Newspapers May 2nd 2012

The father of a 13-year-old indigenous girl who died in State care last month, together with the Musgrave Park Sovereign Tent Embassy, this afternoon protested outside the Brisbane office of the Minister of Child Safety.

About 10 uniformed police officers stood guard in front of the George St office's glass doors.

Tent Embassy's Peter Skuthorpe said the group had been at the building since 11am.

Glen Gray, the girl's father, said he wants to meet with Minister Tracy Davis to seek "justice" for his recently deceased daughter.

"I want a meeting with the Minister" Mr Gray said.

"I only saw her that afternoon (before she died)...she was really happy."

He clutched a petition calling the Queensland Department of Child Safety to meet with the State's indigenous community, establish indigenous child care agencies, and investigate several complaints about child deaths in custody that the group claim have not been addressed.

Embassy volunteers collected additional signatures from passers-by on the busy city street throughout the day.

Mr Skuthorpe believed indigenous children should not be removed from the care of the indigenous community by the Department of Child Safety.

"We've come over here to stop the theft of our children immediately and give them back to their families, because it's a denial...the children have been denied their culture," Mr Skuthorpe said.

"Everybody knows there's no place higher than Dad's shoulders."

He said if indigenous children needed to be removed from their parents homes, they should be put in kinship care.