Dubbo's Peter Gibbs has put out a call for the Aboriginal community to take action and improve the statistics that "punch us in the guts everyday".
Mr Gibbs spoke at Dubbo's NAIDOC Week morning tea in front of distinguished guest NSW Governor Margaret Beazley. He urged the large crowd present to start talking about issues such as the high rates of domestic violence and the prevalence of the drug ice.
"It's not for other people to take on the responsibilities for us, we've got to take on the responsibilities ourselves," Mr Gibbs said.
"That's why when you have a look at the programs and services that are created for Aboriginal people and by Aboriginal people, they are the most effective. Who could disagree with me on that?
"Sadly, the one program we have no problem accessing is the courts and jail. We have no problem accessing those, but we struggle to access preventative services."
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Mr Gibbs is the founder of Indigenous Police Recruiting Our Way Delivery (IPROWD) program. It's an intensive program helping Indigenous people join the police force.
He said bigger and bigger jails continued to be built and the Aboriginal community continued to fill them.
"How sad is this? I heard about this in one of our communities. A father was celebrating because he finally got to share a cell with his son," he said.
Mr Gibbs said one of the fastest growing rates of incarceration was women.
"That's our mothers and our grandmothers, the carers of our little ones who find themselves in their alongside their husbands. That's not the NAIDOC we want to celebrate, we want to celebrate achievement," he said.
But, speaking after the event Mr Gibbs said he wanted people to get enthused, rather than downtrodden.
Mr Gibbs said by joining together a start could be made on overcoming those problems. He said there should be no shame in people speaking up.
"If we want things to change we need to make the change and stop waiting for everybody else. Don't wait for the next phenomenon to come along like ice to smash us to pieces," Mr Gibbs said.
The passionate speaker was full of emotion as he encouraged others to stand up and become leaders for change, even within their own families.
"I think it's very difficult to hold your emotions when you start to talk about these issues because in my family and in the next family, we all experience this. Having family members incarcerated, dying in custody, children in care, smashed around by ice, we all experience it," Mr Gibbs said.
"I think there has to be something seriously wrong with you if you don't get emotionally involved."