As the impacts of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic reinforce existing inequities, trauma and challenges for many of our families across the continent, Family Matters has continued to focus on the need for a consistent implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle and the Family Matters Roadmap to Reform.
These tasks and the central need to ensure the human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, require a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Commissioner. A dedicated, independent Children’s Commissioner for our children will deliver the focus on their needs and the oversight needed for change.
The Family Matters Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander National Leadership Group reflects knowledge, insights and expertise from different sectors and states and territories.
Richard Weston, SNAICC CEO, is Co-Chair of the Family Matters campaign, while Family Matters Co Chair Natalie Lewis, QATSICPP CEO for nearly a decade, has recently announced her resignation to take up a new role as Commissioner with the Queensland Family and Child Commission.
The current members of the National Leadership Group are:
- Richard Weston. SNAICC CEO; Family Matters Co-Chair
- Barbara Henry. Director, Noongar Family Safety and Wellbeing Council. WA
- Dana Hogg. Executive Leader, Regional Implementation and Engagement, AbSec. NSW
- Gerald Featherstone. CEO Kummara Association Inc; Chair Family Matters Queensland
- Jacynta Krakouer. PhD candidate, Dept of Social Work, Uni Melb, and Social Worker
- Jeffrey Chesters. Queensland
- Jenny Brown. National Manager, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement and Wellbeing Community Programs, Red Cross. NSW
- Joanne Della Bona. Coolabaroo Neighbourhood Centre. WA
- Joanne Else. Child and Family Focus SA; Family Matters SA Lead
- Kathleen Pinkerton. Yorganop Association. WA
- Maureen O’Meara. CEO, Aarnja. WA
- Michael Currie. Principal Advisor, The Benevolent Society. Qld
- Muriel Bamblett. VACCA, SNAICC Board Chair
- Paul Gray. Researcher, Jumbunna Institute, UTS. NSW
- Richard Tanna. Uniting Care Queensland.
- Sheena Watt. Executive Manager, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy and Programs, AFL Sports Ready. Vic
- Tim Ireland. CEO, AbSec; Family Matters NSW
- Toni Janke. Coordinator of Indigenous Services, Centacare Family and Relationship Services. Qld
Reflecting progress made to date, and the current political context, the campaign’s priorities for the year ahead will 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 proudly community-driven, drawing together committed organisations in collaboration to work towards campaign goals by utilising our strengths.
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.
More information on 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.