SNAICC welcomes this opportunity to make a submission to the South Australian Government on its Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) (Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People) Amendment Bill 2018.
SNAICC has been encouraged by the foresight of the South Australian Government to appoint a Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People. By specifying this role in legislation with an appropriate mandate, the South Australian Government will be taking a leading role nationally to promote the best interests and protect the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Establishing the role is a critical step to ensure a whole of state and systems focus on responding to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, which is essential in the context of widely recognised and unacceptable disparities in levels of disadvantage and opportunities for First Nations children to thrive. However, there are aspects of the Bill that SNAICC believes currently fall short of what is necessary to ensure both appropriate requirements for the position and the requisite functions and powers to carry out important work. As such, this submission makes recommendations to strengthen the Bill.