OzChild is committed to actively supporting and taking steps towards achieving real reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The organisation acknowledges the sometimes overwhelming grief, suffering and hurt that flows through the generations of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and is actively on a journey of strengthening our cultural competence so we can respond to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with culturally appropriate practices, responses and solutions. Informed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities’ knowledge, our commitment is to deliver services enabling children, youth and families success.
Through this commitment our team of passionate and dedicated staff led by Karen Milward, who is a proud Victorian Yorta Yorta woman developed the OzChild Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
There are over 15,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are not living in parental care. Too many of these children are permanently separated from their family and their culture and will suffer poor lifelong outcomes. More and more children are removed every day, continuing to devastate and traumatise families and fracture communities. There are also many more of children whose families are in crisis; begging for support; trapped by poverty, trauma and discrimination.*
The stark truth of these words (above) from the 2016 Family Matters Report challenge all of us in the out-of-home-care sector to step up to the mark to work to establish policies and practices that improve life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to ensure that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who come into our care receive care that is both safe and appropriate.
In OzChild’s journey to cultural competence through the Reconciliation Action Plan, we will work alongside with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait colleagues to support self-determination and ensure that we develop our practices in line with this learning to reduce the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care.