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Sovereign Women United on Sorry Day

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Sovereign Women United meet at Jagera Hall on Sorry Day

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I received this txt from Aunty Cephia Williams (Brisbane Grannies Group) who could not make her own submission to DOCs officers at South Brisbane regional office because of sickness in the family.

Editor’s Note: The Sovereign Women United group here in Brisbane have asked me to publish this notice and short article below.

For those interested in statistical evidence I have compiled a table of the rate of removal of aboriginal children both before and after Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generation in 2008.

These statistics should be the source of shame, dismay and immediate action for DOCS to return those children to their families and/or grandmothers, grandfathers, aunties and uncles.
[Special thanks to Padraic Gibson for looking up the stats for me].

Ian Curr
25 May 2016

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Thursday 26th May 2016 is the 19th anniversary of the 1997 ‘Bringing them home report’ about the stolen generation. This report brought about the apology in federal parliament in 2008. Since the apology more children are being taken now than ever, only in a different way than during the stolen generation.

On June 30 1997, there were 2,785 Aboriginal kids in “out of home care. Now there are more than 15,000.

There are events both in Redfern in Sydney and Musgrave Park in Brisbane (details above). Come along to hear their stories and plan what is to be done. Please support aboriginal women united in resolving sovereign issues … children, housing, land rights, freedom.

There will be a march on the regional DOCS building in South Brisbane and demands made to bring the children home.

Place: Musgrave Park – near the children’s playground
Time: 10 am Thursday 26 May 2016

This event will have 4 stages:

1. A forum with speakers with a wide cross-section of experience and expertise – from victims of forced removals and their families, to grassroots campaigners such as Sovereign Women United, to legal professionals working with us to Bring Them Home.

2. A light lunch and time to meet and yarn up and listen to some deadly music. (Thanks to Jane Grieg and Wayne’s Mates Rates for donation of DJ services and sound system)

3. A March on to the Department of Child Safety – Head Office (Just up the road on Russell Street) with demands that will hold DoCS accountable for their Duty of Care to our children, and by extention, our families and communities.

4. A debrief and cups of tea at The Hub, in the Small Park on Boundary Street, West End with Uncle Lewis Walker and sister Karen Roberts, from Bunjalung country, who will also talk about how they have been using their legal sovereignty as Bunjalung people to successfully fight against unjust removals in the Family Court and offer support for families wishing to pursue this strategy themselves.

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KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

Aunty Cephia Williams – Grandmothers Against Removals (GMAR)

Aunty Karen Fusi – Sovereign Women United

Karen Roberts – Bunjalung Sovereign Sister

Candice Hughes – Caxton Legal

Others are encouraged to speak – to share their stories, their successes and their strength – and to ask questions and advice of the keynote speakers.

Contact: Karen Fusi 0498 683 421

Bringing home Aboriginal Children after Rudd’s Apology in 2008

Numbers of aboriginal children in out-of-home care

Year National
(children
removed)
Children taken away per thousand Qld
(children removed)
Children taken away per thousand
1997 2,785
2007 7,917 29 1,749 23
2015 15,455 52 3,512 40

Source: Report on Government Services Productivity Commission

Firstly, it is alarming that number of children removed since the bringing them home report was published. It is downright shameful that the numbers have increased so much since the Apology by Rudd.

For whitefellas, the rate of removal is 4 children per thousand nationally compared with 40 aboriginal children per thousand in Queensland.

Murri children are 10 times more likely to be removed from their family in Qld in 2015 than whitefellas.

In the 20 years since the Bringing them home report in 1997, over 5.5 times more children were removed up until the end of the 2015 financial year. In 7 years since the apology,  nearly twice (1.95) as many children have been removed.

Anecdotal reports make these statistics even more shameful, DOCS has failed in its duty of care to aboriginal children and to children lost in the foster industry.

Ian Curr
25 may 2016

Reference
Report on Government Services Productivity Commission

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