On the 20-year anniversary of the Bringing Them Home report, the Family Matters campaign have urged Governments to learn from the mistakes of the past and act immediately to ensure another generation of Australia’s First Peoples are not removed from their families.
On behalf of its signatories and supporters, the Family Matters campaign would like to extend its respects to the Stolen Generations, recognising all that was lost and remains lost, and reinforce its dedication to ensuring future generations are not subjected to the same fate.
“The hurt caused by destructive, racist government policies, and the impact that trauma continues to have today, cannot be underestimated. Only a handful of the 54 recommendations from the Bringing Them Home report have been fully implemented, and it is our communities, families, and our children, who have paid that cost.
“As confronting as the past may be, the truth is this issue still lives and breaths across modern Australia. This year marks 20 years since the Bringing Them Home report was released in 1997, revealing that one in every five children in out-of-home care was Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Today, despite numerous reports, recommendations, and legal and policy frameworks, that figure has now increased to one in every three children.
“The over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the out-of-home care system is vast, and continues to grow. This is something that we know the Australian public do not want to witness again. A recent Essential poll commissioned by Family Matters has revealed that 82 per cent of Australians believe it is important for all children to maintain strong cultural, community and family ties.
“If we do not – together, as a nation – take action to immediately adopt a new approach, the already appalling number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care will triple within the next 20 years.
“We need Governments to take on this issue in genuine partnership with Aboriginal communities, so that history does not repeat itself. The opportunity to act is now.”
– Natalie Lewis, Family Matters Co-Chair
Notes for editors:
Family Matters is a national coalition of 100 organisations working together to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture
The poll commissioned by Family Matters was conducted by Essential Research with data provided by Your Source. The survey was conducted online from the 19th to 23rd April 2017 and is based on 1,017 respondents.