Professor Thalia Anthony

Cypriot heritage

Thalia Anthony is a Professor of Law at the University of Technology Sydney. She lives and works on unceded Wangal and Gadigal lands and is of Cypriot heritage. Her research examines the legacy of colonisation and systemic racism in legal institutions. Thalia's current projects concern the imprisonment of First Nations women, the criminalisation of homeless people and the role of Aboriginal re-storying in sentencing. Her books include Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment and Decolonising Criminology. Thalia works closely with First Nations organisations such as Deadly Connections, Aboriginal legal services and Tangentyere Council.

Indigenous children in state custody

"Canada, United States of America, Australia, and Aotearoa New Zealand have several factors in common. We all have a population of Indigenous peoples who are marginalised, exploited and ignored. We were all colonised by the British. As indigenous peoples we have all suffered the same fates and bear the same scars. Our traditional languages, family structures and cultural and religious beliefs have been, and continue to be deliberately eroded. Traditional birthing, health and wellbeing structures were attacked, destroyed, and renamed. Our children continue to be the subject of ongoing colonial policy that has become a multi-billion dollar growth industry in each country, for non-indigenous peoples and ensures intergenerational trauma for indigenous populations, which is ongoing, even today.

Colonial constructs of Indigenous children and families pervade the practices of child protection and detention intuitions. We argue that such constructs inform a carceral logic that underpin the state’s interventions across the settler colonies of Aotearoa, Australia, the US and Canada. This contributes to high levels of child removals from families in the child protection system and the incarceration of Indigenous children in youth detention. We call for a radical response that decolonises the deficit discourses towards Indigenous children and displaces state institutions with self-determination and sovereignty."

Professor Thalia Anthony