Self-determination – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led initiatives, working to meet the needs of communities – is the path to ensuring that all of our children can achieve their potential.
National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples is an organisation underpinned by self-determination, committed to ensuring the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are heard. This week National Congress voiced its concerns regarding the Prime Minister’s appointment of a Special Envoy on Indigenous Affairs.
Any politician tasked with a responsibility to our people carries a great deal of influence as a key decision-maker, whose choices directly impact children and families. Appointments to such roles cannot be taken lightly.
We know what has to be done. We have been asking for self-determination for years, and to date no government has really attempted to take on this challenge. Ask Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations how to work with our people. Collaborate with us. Listen to our voices, and you will hear the answers.
Now, more than ever, we need a Prime Minister who is going to be a champion for our children’s rights.
If, as suggested, a Special Envoy on Indigenous Affairs is to focus on improving the lives of vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, working alongside our community-controlled organisations seems a logical start.
As the national peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children, SNAICC invites the Prime Minister, the Indigenous Affairs Minister, and Special Envoy on Indigenous Affairs to meet with us – and with National Congress, and with every member of the Redfern Statement Alliance – to discuss how the Federal Government can support our community-led solutions.
In order to create positive change for our children, the Federal Government must work with the people who understand these issues better than anyone.