This chapter continues the case studies, but here I move to the level of the individual. I have chosen two people whose rights I will argue have been compromised by two key institutions. The first of these concerns the fate of my nephew Lyji Vaggs who died in the custody of those charged with looking after his mental health. I endeavour to show the necessity for culturally appropriate care for the Indigenous mentally ill, and how institutional imperatives based on the treatment of the mentally ill as the Feared and Despised Other, can as in Lyji’s case, have tragic consequences.
Second, I outline the story of the first Australian leader Lex Wotton and I will seek to show how his rights were infringed by the criminal justice system. Lex was involved in a riot on Palm Island, a former penal colony located of the coast of my home town, Townsville. The riot was in response to the death of an Indigenous prisoner while in custody. I show how the acquittal of the police officer involved is proof that the oppressive values of the Frontier still survive.