This letter appeared in The Sunday Times on Sunday, 8 November. It is written by Michelle Mackenzie, the CEO of Shelter WA.
WARNING: Please note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this article contains the names of deceased persons.
I would like to acknowledge the strength and courage of Annaliesse Ugle’s mother and family during this very difficult period (News, 1/11) and pay my deepest heartfelt respects for their loss.
The preventable death of vibrant and spirited 11-year-old Annaliesse, who took her own life because without a safe place to call home, the world around her was so perilous and confronting.
It might have been different if her family had access to appropriate housing, but the lack of suitable options got in the way.
Cries for help fell on deaf ears.
Our State really does need more emergency accommodation, more social housing, more low-cost rentals and support for people in need, such as Indigenous families just like Annaliesse’s.
We need more compassion and a bigger appetite for a better way. And that starts with you.
Don’t just walk on by.
Let the loss of her vibrant spark compel West Australians to demand more from our politicians.
Make a noise for Annaliesse. Join her courageous mother and family in shouting for help, during this sad and unimaginably difficult time.
Join us to tell Premier Mark McGowan and Opposition Leader Liza Harvey it must be pushed to the top of the agenda.
We owe it to Annaliesse.