What is Family Matters?
Family Matters is Australia’s national campaign to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture. Family Matters aims to eliminate the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care, by 2040.
Why is Family Matters needed?
When the ground-breaking Bringing Them Home report was released in 1997, Australia was shocked to learn that 20% of children living within the child protection system were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Now, nearly 20 later, they are 35% of all kids in the system. This is a national crisis that needs urgent attention to redress the underlying causes of removal – poverty, intergenerational trauma and discrimination.
Family Matters in South Australia
Friday 19 May 2017 was a special day in Adelaide and around South Australia for Family Matters SA when a number of activities took place as part of the Family Matters National Week of Action. Visitors to Rundle Mall were treated to inspiring performances from Yellaka, Kalaya Children’s Centre and the Dusty Feet Mob from Port Augusta.
Jackie Huggins, AM, Co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, shared with those present the need for change and the importance of connection to culture for all Aboriginal children, particularly those in out of home placements.
There was also the opportunity for people to sign up to the national campaign website for ongoing updates regarding the campaign, or to fill out a survey regarding their awareness and understanding of the complex issues around the over representation of Aboriginal children in out of home care.
Earlier in the day at the Reconciliation Breakfast, the SA Family Matters working group (FMWGSA) launched the campaign to the SA corporate sector through a sponsorship page in the SA Reconciliation Breakfast program.
This provided the Family Matters website details and promoted the signing of the Statement of Commitment for Government departments and organisations, and details for individual support through signing up to the campaign newsletter.
Yellaka were the opening performers at the Family Matters Rundle Mall community event.