23 May 2024

Sorry Day is this Sunday

Sorry Day is this Sunday

Sorry Day, Sunday 26th May, provides us all an opportunity to stop, reflect and acknowledge the mistreatment and harm experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from families, communities, culture and country.  

Marking 27 years since the commissioning of the “Bring them Home” report, this National Day of Healing serves to recognise the incredible strength of the Stolen Generation Survivors and their ongoing advocacy, truth-telling, and commitment to keeping culture strong and challenging systems that continue to harm Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is an opportunity for each of us to consider what is our responsibility and contribution to supporting healing for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.  

Dr. BJ Newton, a Wiradjuri woman and Scientia Senior Research Fellow at UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture, has published a study “Restoration from out-of-home care for Aboriginal children: Evidence from the pathways of care longitudinal study and experiences of parents and children.” This groundbreaking work forms part of the “Bring Them Home, Keep Them Home” research program aimed to better understand pathways to restoration of Aboriginal children and families and is the first Aboriginal-led research into the reunification of Aboriginal families on a global scale. 

She says, “Across Australia, Aboriginal children are 10 times more likely to be removed than other children. In NSW we have tracked the removals of Aboriginal children in OOHC overtime and have found that 40% of children who had been moved had one or no prior Risk Of Significant Harm (ROSH) reports made prior to removal. Aligning with national reports, we found that just 15 per cent of Aboriginal children in care likely to return home. Such low rates are unacceptable given the priority outcome for children following removal is restoration to parents.”  

These statistics clearly demonstrate the essential work done by the early intervention and prevention sector does to keep children and young people safe and together with family, remaining connected to community and culture.  

To see her full paper, click here.