Jumbunna Research Unit & the Institute for Sustainable Futures & the Equity and Diversity Unit UTS invite you to the
Indigenous Research Synergies Seminar
Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Bringing Them Home
Twenty years after the Bringing them Home report was released by the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families, Australian law continues to fail Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. Children are being placed in out-of-home care in unprecedented numbers. Juvenile detention centres are filled with Aboriginal young people, many who previously experienced government neglect whilst in ‘care’. At the same time, Royal Commissions and Inquiries investigate and present findings with respect to institutional violence in detention, abuse in care, institutional child sex abuse and failings of child protection departments. Bringing them Home found that Australian child welfare needed to be ‘completely overhauled’, yet the recommendations from Bringing them Home with respect to contemporary child welfare and juvenile justice remain largely unimplemented. Why?
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Bringing them Home, Jumbunna Research is proud to work with the Institute for Sustainable Futures and the Equity and Diversity Unit to host a forum with distinguished guests:
Cindy Blackstock is a member of the Gitksan First Nation. She currently serves as Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and Professor of Social Work at McGill University. Her work focuses on educating and engaging the public to address structural discrimination affecting First Nations children and their families. She will speak about a successful human rights campaign and claim against Canada for discriminating against first nations children on reserves.
Terri Libesman is Associate Professor of Law at UTS, Sydney. Her research and advocacy is focused on Indigenous children’s rights. She drafted the chapters and recommendations on contemporary child welfare, family law and co-drafted the chapter on self-determination for Bringing them Home, the report of the National Inquiry. She is currently working with the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW on a project investigating participation in child welfare decision making.
Chris Cunneen is Professor of Criminology at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of NSW, Sydney. He drafted the chapter and recommendations on contemporary juvenile justice and co-drafted the chapter on self-determination for Bringing them Home the report of the National Inquiry. He is a leading international criminologist. His most recent books include Indigenous Criminology (co-authored with Juan Tauri, Policy Press, 2016), Justice Reinvestment. Winding Back Imprisonment (with Brown, Schwartz, Stubbs and Young, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), Juvenile Justice. Youth and Crime in Australia (co-authored with Rob White and Kelly Richards, Oxford University Press, 2015), and Penal Culture and Hyperincarceration (with Baldry, et al., Ashgate, 2013).
Assoc. Prof. Libesman and Prof. Cunneen will speak about the failture to implement the recommendations of Bringing them Home, and contemporary failings in child welfare and juvenile justice.
Joanne and Kirra Voller are the mother and sister of Dylan Voller. Footage of Dylan’s torture in the Don Dale youth detention centre in Darwin shocked the world last year and helped trigger the current Royal Commission. Both Joanne and Kirra have courageously spoken out about the discriminatory treatment suffered by their family at the hands of both the child protection and NT corrections system. They are continuing to campaign through the Royal Commission for justice for children and youth abused by these agencies and for fundamental reforms grounded in respect for Aboriginal self-determination. They will speak about the experiences of their family with both the child protection and juvenile justice systems.