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SNAICC 2024-25 Pre-budget Submission

Executive Summary

Within Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experience greater vulnerability than non-Indigenous children as demonstrated by their over-representation in the child protection and youth justice systems and worse health and education outcomes. This greater vulnerability has been created by the continuing impacts of colonisation that have caused generations of harm and trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experience the vulnerabilities that come from being children alongside the vulnerabilities created by colonisation, which compound across the social determinants of health and wellbeing. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s rights are critical for healing from the ongoing legacy of colonisation and for the continuation of the world’s longest surviving cultures.

Successive governments have committed to addressing these inequities, most recently through the 2020 National Agreement on Closing the Gap. Despite these commitments, the Productivity Commission’s first review of the National Agreement shows that governments are not adequately delivering the changes needed to make a meaningful difference in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life outcomes. 

In the SNAICC 2024-25 Pre-budget Submission, SNAICC calls on the Australian Government to bring to life the commitments they have made through the National Agreement on Closing the Gap by investing in the policy reform, programs and structural change needed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families to heal and to thrive. Some of the proposals below would also help alleviate cost of living pressures felt by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families by increasing service supports and lowering the cost of early education and care. 

SNAICC is calling for the following proposals to be funded by the Australian Government in its upcoming Budget:

  1. Establish a National Commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People 
  2. Abolish the Activity Test and provide a minimum early childhood education and care entitlement of at least 30 hours per week for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  3. Introduce a new funding approach for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led ECEC and integrated early years services
  4. Provide ongoing funding for ECEC backbone services through SNAICC Early Years Support
  5. Fully resource Safe and Supported: the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2021-2031
  6. Create a new national program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led prevention and early support that will reverse the trend of children entering out-of-home care
  7. Invest in keeping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, children and young people safe from domestic and family violence
  8. Invest in the viability and membership engagement capacity of SNAICC as peak body, and a national voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

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