A memorial for murdered 16-year-old Aboriginal boy Clinton Speedy-Duroux was unveiled in Tenterfield on Friday.
Speedy-Duroux was one of three Aboriginal children murdered in the small northern NSW town of Bowraville 25 years ago.
Four-year-old Evelyn Greenup and 16-year-olds Colleen Walker and Speedy-Duroux all disappeared from the same street in the town over a five-month period in 1990 and 1991.
Greenup and Speedy-Duroux’s bodies were found later. Walker’s clothes were found in a nearby river, her body has never been recovered.
"[The memorial] comes with an acknowledgment from the government that Clinton’s life mattered because for so long it was like it didn’t, because of the colour of his skin," Leone Duroux, Clinton's sister-in-law, told BuzzFeed News.
"The had the attorney general here, we had [NSW Green MP] David Shoebridge and the NSW minister for Aboriginal affairs here, and they've all acknowledged the family's fight of the past 26 years. It's really special."
Clinton's cousin Karla McGrady says the memorial is not only a place for the family to come and reflect on his life, but also a refuge from the ongoing quest to bring his killer to justice.
"We can come here as a family and reflect. After 25 years there is not a day that goes by we don't think about him. It's a tribute to his memory and a place for us," McGrady said.
"It's absolutely exhausting fighting for justice, even the police commissioner pointed out the racism in the original investigation. It's exhausting but we keep fighting."
The memorial comes as the families of the murdered children prepare to attend the Criminal Court of Appeal in October to see whether the man they believe killed their children is charged.
David Shoebridge, who has been lobbying the parliament on the family's behalf, was instrumental in having the memorial erected in Speedy-Duroux's home town of Tenterfield.
"Four years ago I was the only MP that listened to the families. They felt ignored, so I got them into the parliament. Now, four years later the minister for Aboriginal affairs, the attorney general and bunch of senior police officers and about 100 members of the community are here, it's a landmark achievement for Aboriginal justice," Shoebridge told BuzzFeed News.
"To have this memorial is essential. While the murder happened in Bowraville, it's Tenterfield that Clinton didn't come back too. From the memorial you can see the river where he used to swim, it's here where there's a hole in the football team and on the dancefloor because of Clinton's death," Shoebridge said.
Formerly with BuzzFeed News, Allan Clarke is a NITV reporter based in Sydney.
Contact Allan Clarke at arielle.benedek+AC@buzzfeed.com.
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