You can now catch up on plenary presentations and keynote addresses from the 7th SNAICC National Conference, with videos of these sessions now available through the SNAICC website and YouTube channel.
The 7th SNAICC National Conference was held from 12-14 September 2017 at the National Convention Centre, Canberra.
Dr Sarah Kastelic
The formal child welfare system in the United States was established about 100 years ago. In Indian Country, however, the formal child welfare system was not established until much later. In 1978, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) acknowledged the authority of tribal governments to be involved in the lives of their member children.
This keynote address focuses on provisions related to “active efforts” to provide family support and prevent unnecessary removal of a child, and to reunify a child with their family whenever possible; limitations on “good cause” not to transfer jurisdiction of a proceeding to tribal court; and different types of tribal intervention in ICWA cases.
Securing the Rights of Our Children
Facilitated by Professor Larissa Behrendt, this panel presentation offers a dynamic and frank Q&A style discussion with community and national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders Mick Dodson, Jim Morrison, and Richard Weston.
This discussion centres around learnings from the Bringing them Home report in the 20th anniversary year of its release and in the context of increasing over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care across all Australian jurisdictions.
Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett AM
Victoria has made a number of advances in child welfare legislation, policy and practice which are models for services to Aboriginal children and families driven by the struggle of Aboriginal people for the right to self-determination. Victoria also has a very active Commissioner for Aboriginal Children who has conducted a number of inquiries that have highlighted the systemic and social issues that drive Aboriginal children into care and tend to keep them there.
Despite these advances in practice and knowledge about the reasons Aboriginal children come into care, we seem to be making little headway against the tide with thousands of children continuing to enter care.
Professor Muriel Bamblett’s presentation examines the issues surrounding the state of affairs with Aboriginal child welfare and present views about how we can address them to reduce the number of children being removed and separated from their families, communities and culture.
Looking Forward and Taking Action
This panel presentation formed part of the closing of the 7th SNAICC National Conference, offering an opportunity to reflect on the themes and discussions of the conference, and to strategise for continued and future action. The discussion focuses on the demanding accountability at multiple levels, driving action and affecting change, and working together to realise the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
As the final session of the conference, this presentation was intended to be an informal and open dialogue amongst the panellists and conference delegates that offered insights, hope, and inspiration for the challenges ahead.
Facilitated by Mick Gooda, conference delegates heard from Andrew Jackomos, Megan Mitchell, Dr Jackie Huggins, and June Oscar.