Save the Children expresses its ongoing support for self-determination and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to have real control over issues which affect them and their children.
This NAIDOC Week the organisation also reiterates its support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which provides a pathway to constitutional recognition, designed by the people it most affects.
Save the Children acting Director of Australian Programs, Di Francois said that while the organisation had made significant progress over its long history of working with Indigenous Australians, there was still more to do.
“As a non-Indigenous organisation Save the Children knows the enormous benefits to be gained from genuine collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Ms Francois said.
“We make this approach a practical priority – whether in our employment practices, program design and implementation or through our public advocacy work.
“The NAIDOC Week theme ‘Voice, Treaty, Truth’ resonates strongly with Save the Children, aligning closely with our philosophy and commitment. We continue to make significant investments in capacity development, as well as supporting local decision making and transition to community control in partnership with local Aboriginal organisations and families.”
Ms Francois said the organisation would continue to work alongside the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to help address the gulf in opportunity and standards of living that remain between it and the broader community.
“There remains much more for us to do however, both as an organisation and as a broader society,” she said.
“We support the ambitions of the Family Matters campaign and its call for the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children in out of home care to be formally included in the Closing the Gap strategy.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are currently 10 times more likely to be in out of home care than non-Indigenous children. This is unacceptable. Right now, far too many Indigenous children are at risk of being permanently disconnected from their families, communities and cultures, and we need to do everything possible to reverse this.”
As NAIDOC Week activities take place around Australia, Save the Children recognizes the significant contribution of its 130 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff who work across its various programs. Indigenous Australians make up more than one in five of the organisation’s Australian Programs staff, a figure it aims to increase.
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