The Senate has today supported a Greens motion calling on the Government to show leadership to ensure Aboriginal led decision making to urgently address the extraordinary number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out of home care.
“The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children in out of home care keeps rising, year on year and it’s just heartbreaking, Australian Greens Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“We already know, and we have known for years that the way to address disadvantage is through decision making that is ed by and for people in their own communities. We know that top down approaches don’t work.
“We have all had enough of Government’s completely ignoring the myriad of solutions offered by a broad range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and stakeholders.
“Report after report, senate inquiry after senate inquiry and royal commission after royal commission are all but ignored.
“Aboriginal children belong with their families and communities and the Government needs to work with state and territory governments to ensure the implementation of Aboriginal Family-Led Decision Making, delivered in partnership with Aboriginal agencies as called for by the Senate.
“Last year’s Family Matters report, projected that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids in out of home care will almost triple by 2035.
“Here we are a year later, with a new Family Matter’s report to be released this Wednesday and the Government has done next to nothing to address this issue, I sadly don’t anticipate an improvement to the numbers in out of home care.
“If we want to close the gap we have to start actually working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It’s all empty rhetoric unless we actually do something."
The motion reads: