Despite disappointment around the outcome of the referendum for many organisations and communities, collective efforts towards ensuring the rights of First Nations children and young people to have a voice and be heard remain steadfast.
As of 30 June 2022, of the 45,393 children and young people in out of home care, 19,432 identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (AIHW, 2023). Further, the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in care was 56.8 per 1,000 (AIHW, 2023). This is unacceptably higher than rate for non-Indigenous children of 4.8 per 1,000 (AIHW, 2023).
CREATE Foundation is the peak consumer body representing the voices of children and young people in the out of home care system and is committed to working alongside our first nations colleagues to address the issue of over representation.
CREATE offers unwavering support to SNAICC and other Aboriginal sector partners, including SNAICC’s call for a Truth-telling process and a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Commissioner.
Young people tell us:
“Make sure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people can speak up and their voices are heard.” (Young person)
“If kids really participate, they get a better life…” (Young person)
“We all live on Aboriginal land.” (Young person)
“Be open to learning [about Aboriginal culture].” (Young person)
We understand that the referendum result is a deeply disheartening time for many. We respect our Aboriginal sector colleagues leadership and collectively as a committed and caring sector are taking time to reflect, recover and re-group to ensure that the rights of children and young people, and their voices are heard loud and clear.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2023). Child protection Australia 2021– 22. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/child-protection/child-protection-australia-2021-22