National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day

Yesterday, the ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) and the Gulanga Program observed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, an initiative of SNAICC, first held in 1988.

The Gulanga Program acknowledges the significance of this day, and the strength, resilience and endurance of our babies, children and young people.

Rachelle Kelly-Church, Head of the Gulanga Program said: “We know, in the ACT, our children make up 29% of the Out-of-home Care cohort, despite only representing 3% of the entire ACT population.

“These statistics are not representative of our values, our parenting, or our culture, but they are reflective of the ongoing structural and systemic racism and discrimination present in the institutions we deal with.”

The Gulanga Program acknowledges the dedication of the Our Booris, Our Way implementation committee in monitoring and overseeing the government’s process of change, and in voicing our views – including our disappointment – at the lack of meaningful action towards implementing the numerous recommendations of the Final Report.

Ms. Kelly-Church added: “We are pleased with yesterday’s announcement that the ACT Government has agreed to all aspects of the proposed legislative model for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Commissioner, and we look forward to that position being filled.

“However, it is extremely disheartening to hear the ACT Government has only fully implemented one of the 18 recommendations.

“Our community is tired; we are tired of repeating ourselves and nothing ever comes of it. The government needs to act, and they need to act fast, because our families and children depend on it,” Ms. Kelly-Church concluded.

Read the Our Booris, Our Way media release on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day 2022.

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