40 years ago the Stolen Generation happened on our watch.
5 years ago the Nation apologised for it.
Now, forced child removal is happening again on our watch.
The most recent data shows that children being moved into out-of-home care in Australia's Northern Territory is increasing at an alarming rate and that two-thirds of these children are placed with non-Indigenous families away from their communities. The rate at which children are being removed has almost doubled since the beginning of the Intervention.
Communities across the NT are terrified.
Elder Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra, as spokesperson for Yolngu Makarr Dhuni, representing 8,000 people across Arnhem Land, calls for this trend to be reversed by increasing family support services in communities and honouring the sacred connection between a child and his/her family and community.
'A Yolŋu child has a spirituality, his own ‘skin’, his culture, language, and place in his community. He belongs to that country and its people. You are committing a deep wrong by taking that away from him,' says Dr. Gondarra.
We have learnt from the Stolen Generation that removing Aboriginal children from their cultural links does deep harm, and leads to inter-generational trauma for both parents and children.
Neglect is often a symptom of disempowerment and poverty. It is these root problems that must be tackled.
Please give your support to Dr. Gondarra by calling on the Chief Minister to:
- Increase Aboriginal-managed Family Support services in all Aboriginal communities including the establishment of Family Group Counferencing processes when there are concerns regarding child safety.
- Reverse the decision that cut funds to the Community Sector.
Please read the petition letter to the Chief Minister Adam Giles, initiated by the Keeping Them Home campaign by 'concerned Australians', and lend your voice to this important cause.
You can simply sign the petition letter below, or send a personal message to the Chief Minister, his details as below:
NT Chief Minister Adam Giles:
GPO Box 3146
Darwin, NT 0801
Telephone: 08 8928 6500
Please implement solutions to child neglect that are holistic, culturally appropriate and developed in negotiation with Aboriginal families and community leaders. Under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, every child has a right to enjoy their own culture.
We ask that you:
Increase Aboriginal-managed Family Support services in all Aboriginal communities including the establishment of Family Group Conferencing processes when there are concerns regarding child safety.
Reverse the decision that cut funds to the Community Sector.