An approach to Family Matters in 2019 – to recognise the rights of our children and end the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children being removed from family – has been agreed upon at the first meeting of a newly established Family Matters leadership group.
In October 2018, it was agreed Family Matters required renewed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership to ensure campaign authenticity and the range of skills to truly effect change, as well as updated priorities to reflect progress made to date and the current political context.
Richard Weston, CEO of the Healing Foundation, has been appointed as Co-Chair of the Family Matter campaign, joining Natalie Lewis, QATSICPP CEO. A descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait, Richard has worked in Aboriginal Affairs for over 20 years, and brings a great deal of experience and influence to the campaign.
Alongside Richard’s appointment, the Family Matters Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Group has been established, reflecting knowledge, insights and expertise from different sectors and states and territories.
- Natalie Lewis, QATSCIPP – Family Matters Co-Chair
- Richard Weston, Healing Foundation – Family Matters Co-Chair
- Muriel Bamblett, VACCA
- Jenny Brown, Red Cross
- Natahlia Buitendyk, Uniting Care
- Jeffrey Chesters
- Melissa Clarke, Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement
- Joanne Della Bona, Coolabaroo Neighbourhood Centre
- Joanne Else, Child and Family Focus SA – Family Matters SA
- Gerald Featherstone, Kummara Association Inc. – Family Matters Qld
- Tim Ireland, AbSec – Family Matters NSW
- Toni Janke, Centacare Family and Relationship Services
- Maureen O’Meara, Aarnja – Family Matters WA
- Kathleen Pinkerton, Yorganop Association Inc.
- Dawn Ross, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress
- Sheena Watt, VACCHO
At the meeting, the leadership group decided that the campaign’s priorities for the year ahead should centre around:
- Ensuring the effective operation of the Family Matters Campaign.
- Deepening accountability of all campaign partners – “walking the talk”.
- Progressing political solutions – walking with governments.
- Increasing the public visibility of the campaign.
- Supporting state and territory work – with a focus on community level engagement.
Family Matters is pleased to announce that we have managed to secure funding in the last few months, including $80,000, thanks to our generous supporters, the Australian Communities Foundation and Life Without Barriers.
However, in order to continue our collective fight to eliminate the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care within a generation, we need to raise a further $150,000 through sponsorships. We need your support to reach our goal.
Your sponsorship will go towards:
- raising awareness within communities on the issues impacting the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and the solutions that will see them flourish
- employing a campaign manager to drive campaign activities across Australia
- advocating for laws, policies and practices that will empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to drive the solutions and that focus on supporting families and communities to prevent child removals.
Find out more about how you can support and partner with us.
Finally, you can also support us by signing our statement of commitment and pledging to work in ways that promote the Family Matters principles. Sign the Statement of Commitment.