Despite all the apologies and all the inquiries the NSW government is doubling down on the failed policies of the past
The NSW government has recently passed new laws, which expand the powers of family and community services to permanently remove children from their families. This has been done without any significant consultation or input from the Aboriginal community including from stolen generations survivors themselves. The reforms contained in the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Amendment Bill 2018 make removals permanent, while dispensing with core safeguards and transparency.
Aboriginal children are only 5% of under 18s in NSW but they make up 37% of all young people in care.
Australian community services ministers across the country have adopted a “permanency policy” for children in care that does not respect Aboriginal human rights but instead continues a long colonial tradition of removing Aboriginal and Torres Strait children from their families and culture.
Past removals have led to well-documented trauma, loss of family and culture and vulnerability to physical and sexual abuse. Yet much contemporary debate around permanency planning reignites racist ideas around “saving” Indigenous children from their “dysfunctional” families and culture through removal.
A white woman may make public threats to run down with her car a brown Muslim woman, simply because she disagrees with her. If you are white and have a platform, you can threaten people of colour with violence, injury and death merely for speaking words you don’t like. There are no repercussions for the white woman. Had it been the other way around, there would have been serious consequences. Indeed, Abdel-Magied was horrifically abused by conservative media for many weeks because they did not like her words. Unlike MacSween, she threatened no one.