The Australian Senate today passed a Greens’ motion recognising that the ongoing rate of removal of Aboriginal children from their families in NSW risks creating another Stolen Generations.

Federal Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said:DSC_5393

“This is an important acknowledgment from the Australian Parliament that the Stolen Generations aren’t just history, they continue to this day.

“As we get more detail of the extent of Aboriginal child removals there is an ever clearer case for urgent action to keep communities and families together.

“This motion is all the more important given the Senate’s current inquiry into children in out of home care, submissions for which close on 31 October 2014.”

Aunty Hazel, founding member of Grandmothers Against Removals NSW said:DSC_5304

“A national grassroots protest movement continues to grow to hold child protection agencies and police to account for the forced and unnecessary removal of so many Aboriginal children.

“Aboriginal self-determination is the answer to this crisis, we want to see Aboriginal families and services making the key decisions about our children, not just engaged in token consultation,” Aunty Hazel said.

NSW Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“The ongoing rate of Aboriginal child removal in NSW is confirmation that, despite statements of sorrow and regret, little has changed on the ground.

“Since the Bringing Them Home Report in 1997 the rate of Aboriginal child removal in NSW has increased almost five-fold.

“It is entirely appropriate that the Senate has focused national attention on the fact of Aboriginal child removals, and it must lead to a national commitment to really bring the children home.

“If we don’t learn the mistakes of the past, and empower Aboriginal communities to take responsibility and control over their children, the Stolen Generation will never end” Mr Shoebridge said.

1 October 2014
NOTICE OF MOTION

I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that –

The Senate-

1. Notes that:

a) New South Wales children from Aboriginal communities are being removed from their families at an unprecedented rate with more than 6,000 Aboriginal children, representing about one in 10 Aboriginal children, in out-of-home care in New South Wales;

b) Grandmothers Against Removal, based in Gunnedah, was formed to highlight the process of removal used by the New South Wales Department of Children’s Services;

c) Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their home on 15 January 2014 in Moree by Community Services workers and police from the Operational Support Group, who handcuffed the children’s parents;

d) These Aboriginal children have been subsequently returned to their family home;

e) The NSW government has failed to release film footage taken by the Operational Support Group inside the home of the children forcibly removed in Moree.

2. Recognises that we all must do all in our power to stop the development of a new Stolen Generation.
 

Read more about David’s work with Grandmothers Against Removals here.