This year’s theme for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day highlight the importance of supporting strong family and Community Connection to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to achieve strong spiritual and cultural wellbeing and help them to develop proud cultural identities.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have the right to experience and be proud of their history, cultural beliefs and practices.

Unfortunately, in Sydney and South East Queensland, this year’s celebrations will be impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. However, that doesn’t negate the importance of this day, and for us to continue our learning journey about the crucial impact that culture, family and community play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child.

Last week the Australian Government released the first Annual Data Compilation Report on the progress of the “National Agreement on Closing the Gap”, sadly, there has not been much progress.

One of the key measures (Target 12) to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care to 45% by 2031, is not on track to be met. The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC)

Nationally, Target 12 of the Agreement to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care to 45% by 2031 is not on track to be met. There are 56.3 per 1,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care – up from the baseline of 54.2 per 1,000 children in 2019.

SNAICC CEO Ms Catherine Liddle said the target set by the Governments was ambitious, and that the “Agreement has not yet had the time to influence tangible change.” She also said that “Our families need urgent support – and the report highlights that systemic transformation is what is required. It calls for governments to change the way they do business with our people to close the gap”.

SNAICC works in partnership with all governments and as a national member of the Coalition of Peaks, it is involved in ensuring that the full implementation of the commitments in the National Agreement are upheld in all key areas.

LEAD staff will be participating in this year’s SNAICC Conference, which has been postponed to December 2021.

For more information: https://www.snaicc.org.au/