AbSec, the peak organisation for Aboriginal children and families in NSW, commends the recent collaborative initiative by the NSW Minns Labor government and key stakeholders to convene the Aboriginal Child Safety and Wellbeing Reform Forum. This landmark event, that took place over two days in Sydney this month, signifies a critical step towards reshaping outcomes for Aboriginal children and young people in NSW.
The forum’s focus on co-design, genuine partnership, and holistic community engagement aligns with AbSec’s core values and vision for a reimagined family and child wellbeing service system. By bringing together leaders, community representatives, and experts from various fields, this platform creates an opportunity to address historical disparities and systemic challenges that have impacted First Nations communities.
AbSec acknowledges the significance of placing Aboriginal families and culture at the heart of policies and initiatives aimed at improving the lives of Aboriginal children and young people. The commitment to reducing the number of Aboriginal children and young people in care, emphasising the well-being of families and their children, and empowering Aboriginal families to shape their own future resonates deeply with AbSec’s mission.
As CEO of AbSec, John Leha aptly stated, “Self-determination provides the foundation of a reimagined family and child wellbeing service system. A system that invests in families at its earliest point of contact. A system that is accountable to the communities that they serve.” AbSec recognises the strength and resilience inherent in Aboriginal communities and values the lived experiences and insights of the people as the cornerstone of reform efforts.
The forum’s agenda, spanning from data-sharing to panel discussions on barriers and opportunities for reform, demonstrates a dynamic approach that encourages inclusive participation. AbSec applauds the commitment of Minister for Families and Communities, Kate Washington, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, David Harris, in driving these discussions forward with a vision of a brighter, more equitable future for Aboriginal children and young people.
AbSec looks forward to the outcomes of this pivotal forum and the subsequent steps that will be taken to translate discussions into actions. Together, through continued collaboration and collective determination, we can build a legacy of progress and positive outcomes for Aboriginal children, young people and families in NSW.
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