Over the past five years across Queensland, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children subject to a child-protection notification has increased, while the number of non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children has decreased.
During Reconciliation Week, USQ has partnered with community and government organisations, to have a conversation around the over-representation of Indigenous children in the child-protection system.
Dr Kathryn Gilbey, from USQ’s College for Indigenous Studies, Education and Research (CISER) said the event, The Hard Truth: Indigenous Child Protection in Crisis, was continuing a hard conversation around Aboriginal Child removal rates in the region.
“We are operating on three known truths rather than statistics; that notifications on Aboriginal children are increasing and that once in the system Aboriginal children are removed quicker and for longer,” Dr Gilbey said.
“We can’t sit silent any longer, we have to have this conversation as our children are being taken away at alarming rates, and they are left in out-of-home care for longer.
“This is not only tragic on an individual and personal level it is tragic on a community level it disrupts the transmission of culture and knowledge.”
Dr Gilbey said the goodwill demonstrated by the government departments and other organisations meant the conversation could happen and that was a way to make change.
The one-day event will include a Q&A style panel discussion with key community, university and government representatives from The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women, Cherbourg Hospital, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP), Kambu, Carbal Medical Services, Act 4 Kids, St Vincent de Paul, Lifeline, USQ’s School of Law and Justice and more.
Dr Kathryn Gilbey said the event was about continuing a hard conversation around Aboriginal child removal rates in the region.