Narisha Cash, a 41 year old Jingili Aboriginal woman, who the family have requested be referred to as Nish, died on 26 March 2020, after significant delays in the arrival of emergency services after she called 000 for help.

Nish was a proud big sister. As the eldest of three siblings, she ensured the family stayed close after her mother died. Nish had a passion for art and loved to encourage other Aboriginal people to express their story through art. Nish had a big heart and was always willing to help those in need to find their inner strength.

Nish’s family hopes that the Coronial Inquest can find out why it took so long for emergency services to get to Nish and can recommend changes that ensure no Victorian dies because of preventable delays in the arrival of emergency services.

The Inquest will take place at the Coroners Court in Melbourne 24-26 October.

Quotes Attributable to Mathew Cash, brother of Nish

“I miss Nish so much. It’s still hard to believe that she is not around. If she got the help she needed on time, she would probably still be here.”

“Nish had her challenges in life, but no matter how hard things were for her, she was always giving what she could to support those around her.”

“When our mother died, Nish was the one that kept us all together.”

“Nish loved art and music. As a Community Arts and Youth Engagement officer during her time working with Tandanya, council projects and university programs, Nish was able to share her love with others.”

“She particularly enjoyed inspiring other Aboriginal people to tell their story through art. In 2015, Nish was the recipient of the Gladys Elphick award for dedicated service through culture and arts. The award recognises the achievements of Aboriginal women who work tirelessly to advance the status of Aboriginal people.”

“Nish particularly enjoyed teaching art to young people. She taught so many people a better way to express their individuality and circumstances.”

“To this day you will still see in a lot of major cities and some small towns, murals of artwork that Nish has created. To honour Nish in the best way possible, out of love and respect, a portrait on the side of a building was painted of Nish by some of her very close artistic friends.”

“There are many people grieving Nish’s death still. I hope the Coronial Inquest will lead to change so that no one else loses a loved one because emergency services couldn’t respond in time.”

Quotes Attributable to Nerita Waight, CEO of VALS

“VALS is proud to be supporting Nish’s family during the Coronial Inquest into her death. Nish’s family deserve to know what went wrong and we will try and ensure they get those answers.”

“Too often, when Aboriginal people ask for help, they don’t get it. It’s part of the systemic racism we face every day.”

“No Victorian should die waiting for police or ambulance to arrive.”