Page 4818 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 1 November 2017

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MS BERRY: To finish in the couple of seconds I have left I refer to the federal government and the lack of true consultation from the federal government around these kinds of issues: informing a board that will be put together by a bill made by the federal government which described consultation in a way that imposes people on the education community. (Time expired.)

Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders—out of home care review

MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Children and Youth.

Minister, in a radio interview on 2 October you stated that the steering committee that has direct oversight of the review into the over-representation of Indigenous children and young people in out of home care will “include, absolutely, representation of local Aboriginal community-controlled organisations”. You said that the positions on this committee should all be filled very soon. Minister, has the membership of this steering committee now been finalised and, if not, why not?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: The steering committee met for the first time last week and I can confirm that there was, indeed, representation from local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations including, importantly, Gugan Gulwan and Winnunga Nimmityjah.

MRS KIKKERT: Minister, what local Aboriginal community-controlled organisations have been invited to be on the steering committee?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mrs Kikkert for her supplementary question. I just named two. There are a number of other Aboriginal organisations participating in this review. The review is premised on ensuring that we give full effect to the Aboriginal placement principle which was developed by SNAICC, the national Aboriginal early childhood organisation. They are closely involved in the review. We have also got participation from the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, and Mr Rod Little has accepted to represent the congress on the review steering committee. I understand that he was also represented in the meeting last week.

MR MILLIGAN: Will the framework for this review be released by Christmas so that we can move forward?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Milligan for his supplementary question. We have committed from the start to a co-design process for this review. That was what the steering committee met to do. We have some parameters around what we intend the review to do, but we are very committed to ensuring that the review process is co-designed with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and with providers in the sector. We want to ensure that that process is given full time to take effect. I hope that we will see an outcome by the end of the year, but I also do not want to rush that steering committee into an outcome. I am very committed to co-design for this process.

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