Family Matters, Australia’s national campaign to reduce the over-representation of Indigenous children in out-of-home care, welcomes the recent support from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
Speaking in Parliament as the Prime Minister released the 2017 Closing the Gap report, Mr Shorten called for a “new priority on stronger families”, pledging to listen to and work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to look at new approaches to reducing the number of our children removed by child protection authorities.
Mr Shorten has echoed an immediate change priority from the Family Matters Roadmap, calling for “a target for reducing the number of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care”.
In calling on COAG to introduce a comprehensive, adequately resourced national strategy and target, developed in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to eliminate the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care, Family Matters aims to ensure that the necessary frameworks are in place to achieving the campaign goal.
The need for a new approach, as suggested by Mr Shorten, is clearly evident. An approach that trusts Aboriginal people to deal with Aboriginal business, one that includes genuine collaboration and partnership, empowers communities and involves long-term all of government support across the country.
Family Matters Co-Chair, Gerry Moore, has welcomed the support of the Labor Party, and has invited all political parties to not only promise support, but to deliver.
Opposition Leader Shorten has shown a genuine understanding of what is required if we are to move forward as a nation, and he has shown some real leadership in identifying organisations like SNAICC that he wishes to partner with.
“Finding the solutions to dealing with these issues should bypass politics and party lines. We invite all parties – Liberal, Labor, the Greens, who have already shown a great deal of support for the campaign – to work with Family Matters on designing a new approach, and showing they mean business by helping us implement it.”
– Gerry Moore, Family Matters Co-Chair