Today the family of Jeffrey Winmar will attend the Coroners Court of Victoria for the first directions hearing into the passing of Jeffrey Winmar. It is the beginning of a long journey towards justice for Jeffrey.
Jeffrey was a 28-year-old Noongar man. He was a beloved son, father, uncle, brother, grandson, and cousin to many. He was a family man that loved spending time with his siblings, nieces and nephews. His family remembers him for his infectious smile and as the protector of his younger siblings. Jeffrey was learning to play the guitar and had a passion for gospel music. He was proud of his culture and carried a strong belief in Christianity.
Jeffrey was hospitalised after a police pursuit on 9 November and never recovered, passing two days later on 11 November. Multiple police units, including the canine unit attended his house for a planned arrest.
Jeffrey’s family are concerned about the conduct and accountability of police during the arrest and his pursuit. They have received inconsistent information from police and are seeking answers as to his treatment during his pursuit, apprehension and arrest.
There have been at least 555 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Deaths in Custody since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1991, with 19 of those unjust deaths being in 2023 so far. Jeffrey is one of the three Noongar people who have died in custody this past month.
The family appreciates the support they have received from the community so far, especially all those who attended the vigil for Jeffrey at Dardi Munwurro.
The family thanks all those who have sent messages of support and welcomes you all to stand in solidarity with them as they embark on this long journey of justice. We invite all those to attend the Coroners Court for future hearings.
Quotes Attributable to Jeffrey’s mother Ursulla Winmar
“Jeffrey was that person in our family that kept everyone together and connected – he was the most important link in the chain.
“All he ever wanted to do was to come home and look after his son, to be a good father.
“Now the family chain is broken all of a sudden and I’ve been robbed of a son, he had so much left to give to us, and we still need him.
“I want the police to account for what happened under their watch.”
Quotes Attributable to Jeffrey’s father, Jeffrey Anderson.
“Jeffrey had an infectious smile that lit up the room, regardless of the situation. He was a beacon of positivity. He got along with everyone and carried his culture and his strong belief in Christianity with him everywhere he went.”
“There is a lot we don’t know about the circumstances leading up to Jeffrey’s passing. We have been told conflicting information and we are waiting for answers about what happened.”
“With the support of the Aboriginal community in Victoria, Western Australia and across the country, we will fight for justice for our Jeffrey.”
Quotes Attributable to Apryl Day, Founder and EO of the Dhadjowa Foundation:
“Jeffrey’s family have lost someone very dear to them. Under no circumstance should a parent be left wondering what happened in their son’s final moments or how it led to his death. His family deserves justice and accountability.”
Quotes Attributable to Nerita Waight, CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service:
“Jeffrey’s family deserve answers and they deserve justice. VALS is proud to be supporting Jeffrey’s father through the Coronial process.”
“Aboriginal people in Victoria are more likely to be arrested, incarcerated and to die in custody compared to non-Aboriginal people.”