In 2008, when Kevin Rudd made his historic apology to the Stolen Generations of Indigenous Australians, he envisaged ‘a future where this parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.’
Since that speech, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care has surged by an appalling 65 per cent. Today there are more than 15,000 Indigenous kids living in out-of-home care; they are nine times more likely than non-Indigenous kids to be removed from their parents.
We’ll explore the attitudes and policies that lead to child removals, and the thinking behind these practices. How does systemic discrimination lead to child removal? How are Indigenous leaders shaping the conversation and bringing change? Join us for a discussion of a critical issue for all Australians.
Presented in partnership with the Family Matters campaign.
Natalie Lewis is a descendant of the Gamilaraay (Kamilaroi) Nation and is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP).
Her professional experience has been called upon in Queensland and in the US in the areas of youth justice and child protection, providing direct service, program and policy development and organisational leadership over the past 20 years.
Natalie currently serves on the National Executive of SNAICC – National Voice for our Children, and is co-chair of the National Family Matters Campaign. She also holds appointments on the Qld Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council, Youth Sexual Violence and Abuse Steering Committee and the Queensland Policy Leaders Forum. She was an active member of the Expert Advisory Group to the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry and remains strongly involved in the implementation of the reform agenda.
Andrew Jackomos is a proud Yorta Yorta/Gunditjmara man and was appointed in July 2013 as the inaugural Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People in Victoria.
As Commissioner, Andrew is responsible for advocating for and overseeing the provision of state government services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, particularly the most vulnerable in the areas of child protection, youth justice and homelessness.
Professor Muriel Bamblett is a proud Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja woman and one of Australia’s leading experts on Aboriginal child welfare. She has been Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency since 1999.
Muriel has long been an active advocate for having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people engaged and involved in the issues that affect them. She’s worked tirelessly to ensure the children in these communities maintain a strong connection with their cultural identity.
She was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2004 Australia Day Honours for her services to the community, particularly through leadership in the provision of services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.
Mat Tinkler is Director Policy and Public Affairs and International Programs at Save the Children. He has the dual responsibility for delivering International Programs, primarily focused on the Asia-Pacific region, along with ensuring that Save the Children is a strong voice for vulnerable children with government policy makers, in the media and the Australian community.