Family Matters National Forums

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M E D I A R E L E A S E
29 August 2014

Adelaide forum identifies strategies to stem the soaring number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care

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A forum in Adelaide on 27 August attended by 170 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members, practitioners, service providers and researchers in the child welfare sector has identified a number of initiatives to improve South Australia’s child protection system and stem the flow of Indigenous children being removed from their families.

The forum was told that in South Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children make up 3.5 per cent of the child population yet comprise 30 per cent of all children in out-of-home care. The number of Indigenous children in care in SA has tripled in the past decade, from 236 in 2003 to 788 in June 2013.

This disproportionate rate is reflected across the nation, with almost 14,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care — representing a staggering 34 per cent of all children in care.

Participants at the Adelaide forum called for an overhaul of the child protection system in South Australia — which is still operating on principles from the 1960s — including a shift in focus from tertiary services to prevention and early intervention services to strengthen the capacity of vulnerable families to keep children safe.

According to participants, this new prevention focus would not necessarily require extra government investment, more a major re-alignment of existing funding. Other measures suggested by participants include:

• the use of family conferencing as soon as possible once a risk or possible risk to children has been identified, to bring service providers and family groups together to discuss issues and make informed decisions

• the need for cultural competence education for social worker students at university so that they gain an understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, including traditional child rearing practices, and an understanding of the impacts of intergenerational trauma on children and families, including past policies of forcible removal

• a simplified system for family members to gain information from government agencies, as well as the creation of an independent tribunal to review child protection decisions and complaints

• more recognition and support for informal kinship care arrangements and the adoption in South Australia of the highly-acclaimed Winangay assessment tool for carers in use in NSW, and more stringent requirements on non-Aboriginal carers to ensure children remain connected with their birth families and culture, and

• the need for alternative and Aboriginal community-controlled residential care models — for example, boarding schools such as the highly successful Worawa College at Healesville, Victoria.

The Adelaide forum is part of a series of state-territory meetings under the Family Matters — Kids in Culture, Not in Care national initiative being driven by SNAICC in partnership with other major child welfare agencies to reduce the alarmingly high rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care. Forum partners in South Australia are Aboriginal Family Support Services, the South Australian Council of Social Service, Uniting Communities, and Child and Family Welfare Association.

A community meeting under the Family Matters initiative was held yesterday in Port Augusta to consult on out-of-home care issues in the Port Augusta region and other regional and remote areas of South Australia.

A report on measures and recommendations arising out of the Adelaide and Port Augusta meetings will be available soon from SNAICC. More information on the Family Matters initiative is available at http://www.snaicc.org.au

Media inquiries:
Frank Hytten, SNAICC CEO, on (0432) 345 652
Gemma Unwin, Family Matters Manager, (0423) 696 880
Giuseppe Stramandinoli, SNAICC Media Officer, (0419) 508 125

Aboriginal News Aboriginal Way – National Indigenous Radio Service (NIRS)

NIRS

Hi all,

You are welcome to click on the drop box link below:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3db8ojxoif44u2i/WNIR%20MASTER%2022%20NOVEMBER%202013.mp3

This week we re-play one of our most popular editions of WNIR as NIRS takes advantage of the Easter break, returning with our regular programming on Tuesday 22 April, 2014.

The show features a charming interview with AFL legend Adam Goodes just as he was named NSW Person of the Year 2014.  We know that he went on to achieve Australian of the Year in January.   There’s also an interview with Elder Kevin Buzzacott and an interview with film maker John Pilger before the debut of his film ‘Utopia’.

Have a safe and happy Easter break.

Kind Regards,

Michelle Tuahine | News Director

Gangulu/Ngati Kahungunu
NIRS | National Indigenous Radio Service


Lvl 2 / 2 Ambleside Street, West End QLD 4101
Phone: 07 3226 4200 | Email: 
michelle@nirs.org.au

Website: www.nirs.org.au | Twitter: www.twitter.com/NatIndigRadio

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NIRS-National-Indigenous-Radio-Service

Get more from your National Indigenous Radio Service here: http://www.nirs.org.au/

About the National Indigenous Radio Service

The National Indigenous Radio Service Limited (NIRS) is a national program distribution service that delivers four radio channels of content produced by First Nations broadcasters via satellite distribution and via the internet.

Operating from a central hub in Brisbane, NIRS receives programs from a majority of the 180+ First Nations broadcasting services across Australia.

Arguably, the NIRS satellite footprint is the largest for a First Nations radio network in the southern hemisphere, if not the world.  Given this, NIRS and its programs are unique within the Australian media environment.  Over 120 Remote Indigenous Broadcasting Services (RIBS) units, 23 Indigenous radio stations and 120 Community Broadcastes receive NIRS. To learn more about our network simply explore our new Google Map interface which show where each and every radio station is located, its website details and even includes a streaming link in some cases.

The reason why NIRS is so important to the sector is because many First Nations broadcasters haven’t the funding support to produce programs for 24/7 broadcasting or possess the funding to employ the number announcers ad producers to make enough high quality programs to support their local community audiences with the style of program that closes the gap.

So for some 15 years, NIRS has delivered its ecletic mix of broadcast programs and a national news service delivered via satellite that all major metropolitan, regional and remote communities via their Remote Indigenous Media Organisations (RIMOs) can receive and add into their regional broadcast schedules.

In this way, NIRS is dedicated to facilitating First Nations voices through broadcasting and internet radio.  We achieve this by a mix of  programs that provides critical commentary of the strategies directed towards our communities that seek to preserve, promote and maintain First Nations arts, culture, languages and community values.  Most particularly, NIRS discusses ‘Closing the Gap’ initiatives that are aimed at achieving quality of life improvements for First Nations communities across Australia.

NIRS also encourages aspirant First Nations broadcasters and RIBS to send their own programs that can be shared and thus opening a “window” to local community issues to a national audience.

For Broadcasters

For broadcasters who meet the licensing and equipment requirements but lack the funds or resources to provide a full 24-hour service, NIRS will enable them to fill any holes in their schedule with our continuous programming.  For community broadcasters who access air time through a CBAA affiliate station, NIRS will provide the opportunity for these areas to hear national Indigenous issues, as well as enabling them to boost local airtime.

The Australia Indigenous Communication Association is also a great way of making contact with First Nations Broadcasters:

http://www.aicainc.org.au/Html/index.html

Aboriginal News Aboriginal Way – National Indigenous Radio Service (NIRS)

NIRS

NIRS_News_Daily_12am-05pm_07-04-2014

In loving memory of Auntie Amy Levai

“Teaching has been my life, it has been the thing that I loved doing the most. To be able to give to children and help them to learn, grow and move forward is a very special opportunity” ~ Amy Levai, November 2012 in response to the then Minister for Education and Child Development in South Australia, Grace Portolesi, when she announced that the SA Department for Education and Child Development would award ten annual scholarships to carry Amy’s name as the Amy Levai Aboriginal Teaching Scholarships, to assist the recipients as they embark on the new Pathways into Teaching program. The scholarships provide financial assistance and a pathway to employment for Aboriginal people studying to become teachers.  Amy was congratulated for her 35 years of service teaching in South Australian primary schools and for her professionalism, dedication and inspirational teaching practices.

Family honours Aunty Amy Levai’s wonderful life with memorial fund

Amy-and-Lowitja

Auntie Amy Levai (nee O’Donoghue) passed away peacefully in Adelaide on Good Friday, March 29 2013 after an 18 month battle with bowel cancer.

Her legacy will always remain for as long as children everywhere are given the opportunity to learn to read and write and are encouraged to be the best that they can be.

Auntie Amy was a loved and devoted mother and mother-in-law of Deborah, Paul and Annika, Kristine and Les, Robert and Nina, Stephen, adored Grandma of Ruby, Mahailia and Bianca, Jacob and Brianna, Dean and Kate, Trisha and Tim Jordan and Terri, great grandma of Lachlan and Hollee, loving sister of Eileen, Violet and Geoffrey (deceased) and of Lowitja. Daughter of Lily and Thomas (deceased) and cherished friend of Tony.

Auntie Amy is now reunited in memory with Matyas (deceased) from whom she had been divorced for over 20 years but still they remained good friends.

As we collectively mourn the loss of another respected Elder we can be encouraged and humbled by her ongoing legacy and story being carried forward by the actions of her daughter, Deb Edwards.

Paying tribute to a loved one is a special way to keep our memories alive and to carry on the important legacies that many of our Elders have fought constantly to achieve, paving the way for the important work that is still needed to create harmony in this country today.

By honouring the life works of our Elders we can encapsulate and reminisce on all the positive things that they have given to enrich the lives of many Aboriginal and Islander (including the Torres Strait) communities and non-Aboriginal peoples alike.

Auntie Amy was the first Aboriginal teacher to be trained and permitted to teach in South Australia after completing her Early Childhood Certificate for kindergarten in 1950. She then spent three years as the Kindergarten Director at Mt Margaret Mission in Western Australia.

In 1950, Amy applied to attend the Adelaide Teachers College but was rejected. She was told “we do not have Aboriginal people in teacher training”.

That knock back and the subsequent ones to follow, made Amy more determined and she continued to “pester” the South Australian Education Department until she was finally accepted in 1957.

Teaching in many schools around South Australia including Parkside Primary School, Williamstown Primary School, Eden Hills Primary School, Kaurna Plains Aboriginal School and her beloved North Adelaide Primary School where she taught for 14 years she was a much loved and admired teacher for her gentle and warm approach to educating children.

There are literally thousands of children who were lucky enough to have been taught by Auntie Amy. They have never forgotten her and they never will.

Former South Australian Premier Dean Brown, singer Sia (Furler) and model Emma Balfour are amongst some of Auntie Amy’s former students.

Auntie Amy retired from teaching in 1993 and for five years couldn’t even walk past a school, she found it too “painful”. She had always led a very busy life teaching and she also managed to fit in a marriage plus raising five children – three stepchildren and two of her own.

In 1989, Auntie Amy was awarded NAIDOC Aboriginal of The Year and in 1998 NAIDOC Aboriginal Elder of The Year in South Australia. She also received an award for Outstanding Service in March 2010 from the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Forum of the Council of Aboriginal Elders SA.

In November 2012, the then Minister for Education and Child Development in South Australia, Grace Portolesi, announced that the SA Department for Education and Child Development would award 10 annual scholarships to carry Auntie Amy’s name as the Amy Levai Aboriginal Teaching Scholarships, to assist recipients as they embark on the new Pathways into Teaching Program.

The scholarships provide financial assistance and a pathway to employment for Aboriginal people studying to become a teacher. Auntie Amy was congratulated for her 35 years of service teaching in South Australian primary schools and for her professionalism, dedication and inspirational teaching practices.

Auntie Amy thanked the Department by saying “Teaching has been my life, it has been the thing that I loved doing the most. To be able to give to children and help them to learn, grow and move forward is a very special opportunity”.

Auntie Amy believed as an individual, you could make a difference to each and every child in your classroom.

In honour of Auntie Amy Levai, her daughter Deb and family have asked all to consider making a donation to the Amy Levai Memorial Fund which will raise funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF).

The ILF’s core aim is to make a positive and measurable difference in the early literacy levels of Indigenous Australian children in order to raise their prospects in schools.

The collective resources of the Australian Book Industry and the goodwill of the public and corporate sector raises funds to purchase and provide books and literacy resources to Indigenous Australian children in communities.

Auntie Amy would have liked nothing better than to know that Aboriginal children will always have the opportunity to read books. If you would like to contribute to the Fund please go to http://inmemory.gofundraise.com.au/page/AmyLevai

Aboriginal News Aboriginal Way – National Indigenous Radio Service (NIRS)

NIRS

NIRS NEWS STORIES 6am-9am 24th February 2014 

Story 1

To the Torres Strait, a deficiency-plagued mobile dental health unit intended to provide services to the outer islands has now been relocated to the Cape York.

The Torres Strait-Northern Peninsula Hospital and Health Service says the relocation is temporary.

Aaron Smith is Editor of local newspaper Torres News and he told Bumma Bippera Media the service’s operators hope to have it back in the islands by mid-year.

GRAB

Story 2

To Western Australia –

An Indigenous rights advocacy group says there are better alternatives to the state Government’s ‘three-strikes’ public housing policy.

The policy sees tenants evicted from their homes by authorities if they habitually breach public housing rules.

Daydawn Advocacy Centre spokesperson Mary McComish says they estimate about 500 families have been evicted since the policy was introduced.

Ms. McComish says a lot of impacted families are already extremely disadvantaged or in crisis and they need support, not to be evicted.

GRAB

Story 3

To Queensland, the Chair of the Cape York Turtle and Dugong Task Force, Robbie Deemal, says he welcomes funding for protection of the region’s turtle population.

The Federal and Queensland Governments announced last week seven million dollars for programs to reduce the threat of feral pigs to marine turtle nests.

The Task Force’s Robbie Deemal says the money must be used to employ local Cape York people.

Mr. Deemal says his group has undertaken turtle protection works for years without funding and it would be a shame now for contracts to go to outsiders.

GRAB

Story 4

A social justice advocate has criticised the Federal Coalition Government’s solution to stem the flow of asylum seekers at Papua New Guinea’s Mannus Island processing centre.

Ray Jackson says it is the right as legitimate asylum seekers under the United Nations declaration on the rights of refugees.

His comments come after the reported death of an Iranian man on the island last week and protest rallies around the country over the weekend.

Sandy Aloisi has more.

GRAB

Story 5

The Federal Government says it’ll take on board the perspectives of community-run organisations in the parliamentary inquiry into alcohol in our communities.

The inquiry will pay close attention to supply and demand issues, social and economic determinants of alcohol abuse, trends, Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and best practice strategies to deal with problem drinking.

Victorian Liberal MP Sharman Stone will chair the inquiry.

Dr. Stone says the experiences of organisations on the ground will be central and is calling for submissions.

GRAB

Story 6

To Queensland –

A western Cape York traditional owner from the Wenlock River region says the Cape York Regional Plan favours mining and pastoral interests over TOs.

Thomas Pitt is a Tjungungji man who says the plan doesn’t currently take into account the knowledge and values of his clan and nearby groups.

The Government is in the process of developing the Cape York Regional Plan to improve the region’s economic prosperity.

But Mr. Pitt says his mob has been left in the dark throughout the development of the plan.

GRAB

Story 7

A leading sociologist and commentator says the Productivity Commission’s Report on ‘Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage’ released last week, fails to acknowledge the strength and wisdom within our communities in finding solutions.

Eva Cox says much of the media reporting following the report’s release last week suggests that the blame for the failure to close social indicator gaps lies with Indigenous Australians.

GRAB

Kind Regards,

Michelle Tuahine | News Director

Gangulu/Ngati Kahungunu
NIRS | National Indigenous Radio Service
Lvl 2 / 2 Ambleside Street, West End QLD 4101
Phone: 07 3226 4200 | Email: michelle@nirs.org.au

Website: www.nirs.org.au | Twitter: www.twitter.com/NatIndigRadio

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NIRS-National-Indigenous-Radio-Service

Get more from your National Indigenous Radio Service here: http://www.nirs.org.au/

About the National Indigenous Radio Service

The National Indigenous Radio Service Limited (NIRS) is a national program distribution service that delivers four radio channels of content produced by First Nations broadcasters via satellite distribution and via the internet.

Operating from a central hub in Brisbane, NIRS receives programs from a majority of the 180+ First Nations broadcasting services across Australia.

Arguably, the NIRS satellite footprint is the largest for a First Nations radio network in the southern hemisphere, if not the world.  Given this, NIRS and its programs are unique within the Australian media environment.  Over 120 Remote Indigenous Broadcasting Services (RIBS) units, 23 Indigenous radio stations and 120 Community Broadcastes receive NIRS. To learn more about our network simply explore our new Google Map interface which show where each and every radio station is located, its website details and even includes a streaming link in some cases.

The reason why NIRS is so important to the sector is because many First Nations broadcasters haven’t the funding support to produce programs for 24/7 broadcasting or possess the funding to employ the number announcers ad producers to make enough high quality programs to support their local community audiences with the style of program that closes the gap.

So for some 15 years, NIRS has delivered its ecletic mix of broadcast programs and a national news service delivered via satellite that all major metropolitan, regional and remote communities via their Remote Indigenous Media Organisations (RIMOs) can receive and add into their regional broadcast schedules.

In this way, NIRS is dedicated to facilitating First Nations voices through broadcasting and internet radio.  We achieve this by a mix of  programs that provides critical commentary of the strategies directed towards our communities that seek to preserve, promote and maintain First Nations arts, culture, languages and community values.  Most particularly, NIRS discusses ‘Closing the Gap’ initiatives that are aimed at achieving quality of life improvements for First Nations communities across Australia.

NIRS also encourages aspirant First Nations broadcasters and RIBS to send their own programs that can be shared and thus opening a “window” to local community issues to a national audience.

For Broadcasters

For broadcasters who meet the licensing and equipment requirements but lack the funds or resources to provide a full 24-hour service, NIRS will enable them to fill any holes in their schedule with our continuous programming.  For community broadcasters who access air time through a CBAA affiliate station, NIRS will provide the opportunity for these areas to hear national Indigenous issues, as well as enabling them to boost local airtime.

The Australia Indigenous Communication Association is also a great way of making contact with First Nations Broadcasters:

http://www.aicainc.org.au/Html/index.html