10 November 2019

A review of Aboriginal child ‘protection’ in NSW, chaired by Megan Davis, “found widespread noncompliance with legislation and policy among FACS caseworkers and managers. … [W]illing and available Aboriginal family members were routinely ignored and not assessed to care for their kin, and siblings, including twins, were separated unnecessarily. … In the most egregious cases, children who did not appear to be at risk of harm were removed from their families; the Children’s Court was misinformed about vitally important information; and the location of young people under the care and protection of the Minister was unknown. … When police are used for removal, especially riot police, this has historical continuity. When babies are removed at hospitals or a pre-natal risk notification is made because the mother is Aboriginal, this has historical continuity. … When mums and dads are given unrealistic, unachievable goals in order to have their children or grandchildren restored to them, this has historical resonance. … Some of these practices demonstrate concrete examples of institutional racism. The system is replete with practice that renders our people voiceless and powerless.” This is Australia in 2019.