Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination in child protection

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination in child protection

Muriel Bamblett and Candice Butler

This webinar outlined recent initiatives that promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership and self-determination in child protection.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination in child protection

This webinar was held on 18 July 2018.

A full recording of the webinar and related resources, including slides, audio and a transcript, will be published soon. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive notification when these resources are available.

A list of resources related to this topic is available on our post-webinar forum.

The participation and leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the decisions that impact the care and protection of their children has long been recognised as critical to improving outcomes. As the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Australia’s child protection systems continues to soar, it has never been more important to take account of international and local evidence that indicates self-determination is essential to making decisions in the best interests of Indigenous children.

The participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in decisions promotes continuity of children’s cultural identity, as well as continuity of family and community relationships that are essential to children’s health and wellbeing. However, very limited processes to support genuine self-determination in child protection have emerged in Australia. 

This webinar explored promising initiatives that support the self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and agencies in child protection matters. These include emerging models of Aboriginal guardianship for Aboriginal children in Victoria, family participation in Queensland, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled family wellbeing services, and new models of Aboriginal-led governance for service system oversight at state and regional levels.

This webinar is relevant to all practitioners, service providers and policy makers involved in child protection systems and related services.

This webinar was presented in collaboration with SNAICC – National Voice for our Children.

SNAICC – National Voice for our Children

Feature image is by Ben Searcy, courtesy of Family Matters South Australia.

About the presenters

Muriel Bamblett

Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett AM is a Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung woman who has been employed as the CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency since 1999.  Muriel is active on many boards and committees concerning children, families and the Indigenous community, including the Victorian Children’s Council, Aboriginal Treaty Working Group and the Indigenous Family Violence Partnership Forum.

Muriel’s contribution to her community and to Victoria has been recognised in a number of awards including a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2004 Australia Day Honours for her services to the community. In 2011, Muriel was inducted into the 2011 Victorian Honour Roll of Women and was a finalist for a Human Rights Medal with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

In 2017, Muriel was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in Social Work by the University of Sydney in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Aboriginal child and family welfare.

Candice Butler

Candice is a Senior Practice Leader for the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP). She has strong family connections to Yarrabah in Far North Queensland.  From Candice’s background and expertise in the child protection sector, she has developed a strong commitment to ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are connected to kin, culture and community. In her role as Senior Practice Leader, Candice is committed to promoting the sector and practice excellence that exists within the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled child protection sector.

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