Abused Aboriginal youth to stand in Alice Springs Town Council elections

Dylan Voller: "Guards made a game of this."

Update below

Dylan Voller, a young Aboriginal man who suffered horrific abuse by jailers in Darwin, has announced he will stand in the 2017 Alice Springs Town Council elections so he can give the youths of Central Australia a voice. The 19-year-old Alice Springs local became a household name in 2016 after footage of him strapped to a restraint chair in Don Dale Youth Detention Centre was aired on a prominent investigative television programme, the taxpayer funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Four Corners. Since then, Voller has testified to a top tier Northern Territory inquiry, called Royal Commission, into child abuse and has used his new-found fame to speak out in defence of youths in the region.


He has said he is afraid prison guards will take revenge for his speaking out.

“I’m running for the election so I can get the voices of young people, who don’t have much of a voice, out there,” Voller told a Darwin based newspaper.

“I wouldn’t be doing this for myself, I’d be doing it for everyone else in the community who doesn’t have a voice,” the Nothern Territory News quotes him saying.

Voller said if elected he would focus on fixing the youth issues in Alice Springs and getting everyone in the community to work together.

“A lot of people have been telling me they would support me (if I run),” the paper quotes. “Young people know what young people’s problems are and what they need.”

Mayor Damien Ryan refused to comment on specific candidates, but said young voices in council would be good.

“There’s a few young tradesmen who are going to stand for council — their life experience would be pretty damn good,” Mr Ryan said.

Nominations for the election close midday, August 3.




He withdraws candidacy 

Dylan Voller: Former Don Dale detainee drops out of race for Alice Springs Town Council

"I want to focus on building up trust and support within the community. We do need more strong Indigenous people in power and at this time I am not ready. I am sorry.

"This is sad but a decision I have to make that will affect my future and my mental health."

Dylan Voller: Former NT youth detainee apologises over Facebook fake gun photo

"It is not a real firearm nor was used to menace anyone or threaten anyone," Mr O'Brien said.

"There was a fake handgun, or replica handgun, that has been handed in by Dylan to police to avoid certainly any misconception that might have been made of the photograph."

"Mr O'Brien said Mr Voller was "extremely embarrassed" about the incident. ... "


Dylan Voller: “If the government wants to help us they should come down to our communities and elders and see what they have to say”

"There are many alternatives and improvements that could be made to the prison system.

Communities can be supported to have more contact in prison and instead of prison, we need more healing spaces, Bush Mob is good.

"The conference believes that children should not be transferred away from Alice Springs to Darwin.

We also believe that youth prisons are not helpful, and that Don Dale needs to be closed.

"We call for the closure of youth prisons, and a national day of action when the Royal Commission into Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory
releases their final report.