SNAICC welcomes stronger powers given to SA Aboriginal Children’s Commissioner

SNAICC welcomes stronger powers given to SA Aboriginal Children’s Commissioner

by Freya Lucas

December 15, 2020

SNAICC and the Family Matters National Leadership Group have welcomed the recent announcement of increased powers for South Australia’s Aboriginal Children’s Commissioner.

 

The Bill to amend the Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016 was introduced by SA Minister for Education, John Gardner last week to establish the position of the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People in legislation. This will place the role on equal footing with South Australia’s Commissioner for Children and Young People.

 

SA Aboriginal Children’s Commissioner April Lawrie will be conducting independent inquiries and formal investigations into issues such as the removal of Aboriginal babies from their mothers at birth and the adherence of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle in South Australia with the aim to see First Nations children “grow up safe with their family in community and culture”.

 

SNAICC CEO Richard Weston expressed his support for the amendments saying SNAICC was “pleased that the South Australian Aboriginal Children’s Commissioner role has been granted appropriate functions and powers to ensure systemic change and accountability for our children as it should always have been.”

 

The amendment supports the Family Matters campaign that calls for a commissioner in every Australian state and territory, as well as a national commissioner for Aboriginal children and young people to advocate for the rights of children and create accountability for systems and better practice.

 

“A commissioner role should conform with the Paris Principles – the human rights guidelines set out by the United Nations. It should be established by legislation and be granted appropriate functions and powers to promote change and accountability through inquiry and investigation,” Family Matters Co-Chair Sue-Anne Hunter said.

 

“We are confident that Commissioner Lawrie can move forward in ensuring our children have the right to be heard and the government is kept accountable to the Family Matters and Closing the Gap targets to reduce the over-representation of our kids in out-of-home care.”

 

For more information please see here. 

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