This week the Strong Grandmothers from the Central Desert Region met with Minister Dale Wakefield to call to an end to the ongoing Stolen Generations: Demanding she enact a Territory-wide family restoration program.
Please share. Scroll down to read our letter to the Minister.
To help with flights to Canberra so we can join the National Delegation of First Nations Grandmothers, please donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/strong-grandmothers-group
Here is the letter we presented her:
Thursday 17 May 2018
Dear Minister Wakefield
We want our kids back in our care. Our kinship systems must be recognised. We know you are a part of the Family Matters – Strong communities, strong culture, stronger children. campaign and we are calling on you to enact a Territory wide restoration program to bring our children home.
We want to know the current statistics: How many children in care? How many children in detention? How many of those children are on remand? How many residential care houses? How may children in each house? How many in kinship care? How many kids have been taken interstate? Ratio of staff to children? With a breakdown of which kids are Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal and which locations.
There needs to be case reviews for all Aboriginal children in state care with the view that those children are restored to their families.
We are aware that it is 10 bed facility and that it overcapacity. This is on your watch.
We are aware that the vast majority of children are held on remand. There needs to be bail reviews for all children held on remand so they can be bailed to appropriate family according to our kinship system.
Where funding is allocated needs to be re-assessed. There are many unskilled people working with our children. This is not good enough. The bail accomodation is not working. Our children are getting locked up due to the inability of bail accomodation and welfare staff to care for our kids. We want aboriginal identified professional workers around the clock.
These staff don’t understand our community they don’t understand our language.
We know that Loves Creek station is vacant. We want funding allocated for taking our children out to Country.
Minister you need to be responsible for the allocation of funds, and the processes of diversionary programs, bail accomodation and welfare houses.
We are aware that you are having meetings about the Royal Commission
recommendations without family involvement. Excluding us from these meeting continues the systematic abuse of our families.
We are asking you to commit to case reviews for all kids held in welfare, with a view to restore children to family according to our kinship systems.
We are asking you to commit to bail reviews for all kids held on remand, with a view to restore children to family according to our kinship systems.
We are asking you to commit to a re-assessment of the funding and staff allocation for bail and welfare houses. They have a high turnover of unskilled staff that are completely inappropriate for looking after our kids.
We are asking for you to commit to funding to support children and families to be out on country.
We are asking you to make positions for Aboriginal staff that understand our community and speak our language.
We are asking you to commit to involve our families in the decision making
processes concerning us.
Decision making processes regarding our affairs must be community controlled and self-determined.
We are heading to Canberra to call for a national restoration program to bring our children home. This is an ongoing Stolen Generation and you are the Minister responsible here in the NT.
Strong Grandmothers of the Central Desert Region
We thank the Minister for taking the time to meet with us today. For sitting down and listening to what we say. We look forward to continuing to meet with Minister Wakefield.
(Present at the meeting: Aunty Christine Kngwarraye Palmer, Aunty Sabella Kngwarraye Turner, Aunty Elaine Peckham, and Nanna Doreen Caroll nee McCormack)