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Organisations reject calls for Royal Commission into Aboriginal children

[supplied by SNAICC]


Child abuse is a serious crime, which has a devastating impact on children, family and communities.


The safety of children should not be politicised or used as a platform to advance a political position.


It is frustrating and disappointing to hear the Opposition Leader and Senator Price repeating the same claims and calls they made earlier this year, again with no evidence and no credible solutions.


If any politician, or anyone at all, has any evidence about the sexual abuse of children then they must report it to the authorities.


These calls for a Royal Commission into the sexual abuse of Aboriginal children have been made without one shred of real evidence being presented. They play into the basest negative perceptions of some people about Aboriginal people and communities.


In April this year, the Australian Child Maltreatment Study revealed the majority of Australians (62 per cent) have experienced at least one type of child abuse or neglect, with domestic violence, physical, emotional or sexual abuse the most common.


Child abuse is far too prevalent in Australia full stop.


Singling out Aboriginal families and communities is harmful and puts ideology before evidence. The most recent Child Protection Australia data release, by the AIHW, shows that Indigenous children were less likely to be the subject of a substantiated notification of child sexual abuse in 2021-22 (6.8%of substantiations) than were non-Indigenous children (9% of substantiations).


The evidence and the solutions are very clear.


There have been more than 33 reports into child protection since the Bringing Them Home Report in 1997.


SNAICC produces an annual report, Family Matters, and has done so for many years, which details the evidence-based solutions that will enable our children to grow up safe, loved and protected. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations have developed these solutions.


They prioritise Investment in effective, culturally safe supports for families and children before they reach crisis point through Aboriginal community-controlled services.


The most effective and immediate action Government can take to make children safe and protect their human rights is to stand up a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Commissioner, with the legislated power to investigate and make recommendations on issues impacting our children.


This will be more effective and more powerful than any Royal Commission. We have been calling for a National Commissioner for many years. We now call for bipartisan support to make this happen.


Endorsed by:


SNAICC– National Voice for Our Children


Coalition of Peaks on Closing the Gap




Lowitja Institute             


Healing Foundation


Life Without Barriers


Families Australia


Reconciliation Australia


National Coalition for Child Safety and Wellbeing


ACT Children and Young People’s Commissioner Jodie Griffiths-Cook


WA Commissioner for Children and Young People Jacqueline McGowan-Jones


SAFeST Start Coalition


Act for Kids




Benevolent Society


MacKillop Family Services


PeakCare Qld




National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing Research


Professor Catherine Chamberlain


Onemda Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing


Healing the Past by Nurturing the Future


Replanting the Birthing Trees


Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies


Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare


Australian Education Union


ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body


Tony McAvoy SC




Dr Graham Gee


Indigenous Allied Health Australia




Zoe Robinson - Office of the Advocate for Children and Young People


National Health Leadership Forum


Partnership for Justice in Health


Child and Family Focus SA






Distinguished Professor Marcia Langton



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Boy dies after being detained at Casuarina Prison's Unit 18 while on remand [Keane Bourke and Nicolas Perpitch, ABC] The 16-year-old boy, who took his own life, is understood to be the first young person to die in detention in Western Australia since modern records began in 1980.


Indigenous groups reject Peter Dutton's push for a royal commission into child sexual abuse [Tom Lowrey, ABC] Indigenous children's advocates and medical bodies have criticised a call from the Coalition for a royal commission into child sexual abuse in Indigenous communities, arguing the issue should not be politicised.

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