- ... recognising children as our first priority
About Us
Children's Day
Service Directory
SNAICC Publications
Contact Us
- - -

 Media Releases  SNAICC News Briefing Papers Newsletters



Media Release

For Immediate Release – 19 September 2007

SNAICC statement from the first day of the 2007 SNAICC National Conference.


Largest national conference on Indigenous children opened today

The largest ever national conference on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children opened in Adelaide today with speakers highlighting the importance of culture and having a sense of belonging to Indigenous children’s welfare and wellbeing.

700 delegates from across Australia gathered for the National Conference of the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), under the theme ‘Ngadluko Ngartunnaitya – For Our Children’.

“Today’s speakers have an important message about the importance of culture and the resilience of Indigenous peoples for all of us working with Indigenous children and families, and especially also for our governments – state, territory and federal,” Ms Muriel Bamblett, AM, Chairperson SNAICC said today.

Speakers also highlighted the importance of governments providing full support to Indigenous child and family services to ensure these services can effectively support and care for children and to ensure Indigenous children have the same opportunities that other children have.

“We welcome comments by Mr Tom Calma reminding everyone that the reality of Australia’s Stolen Generations is not a thing of the past,” Ms Bamblett said. Mr Calma, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, marked the 10th anniversary of the Bringing Them Home report in his keynote speech.

“Commissioner Calma highlighted the importance of the need for healing for Indigenous families and for preventative measures such as housing, child protection programs and schools, something that he remarked is not a feature of the Government’s intervention in the Northern Territory,” Ms Bamblett said.

International guest speaker, Cindy Blackstock of the Gitksan Nation in Canada, challenged the governments of both Canada and Australia, as both G8 countries with huge surpluses, to meet their obligations to Indigenous children as some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged of their nations.

“Indigenous people already have the answers to deal with the challenges we face. Governments must ensure that Indigenous organisations are fully funded and supported to deliver services that we know Indigenous children and families need,” Ms Blackstock said.

Ms Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, has also written to Australian Prime Minister John Howard asking him on what evidence the federal government’s emergency intervention in the Northern Territory is based.

The Conference also saw the release of SNAICC’s new publication to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Bringing Them Home, the report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families. The book was released this morning by former SNAICC Chairperson Brian Butler, who spearheaded the campaign for the Inquiry to be held, during his keynote speech this morning.

Contributors to the publication, ‘Remember Me’ – Commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Bringing Them Home report, including Brian Butler, Tom Calma, Professor Larissa Behrendt of University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Professor Anna Haebich of Griffith University, SNAICC Chairperson Muriel Bamblett, Rosie Baird of Karu Link-Up in Darwin, and UTS law lecturer Terri Libesman, have shared their reflections and recollections on the National Inquiry, how its report was received by the Australian public and government, and the continuing need for healing and a national apology.

SNAICC’s National Conference continues at Adelaide Convention Centre on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 September 2007.

SNAICC is the national non-government peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families.

For media comment:

Ms Muriel Bamblett – SNAICC Chairperson (03) 9489 8099.

For media inquiries and information:

Mark Lawrence, SNAICC Conference Media Liaison: 03 9489 8099


More information on the National Conference is available on the SNAICC Conference page.

You can download the full text pdf version of this media release here (64 KB)


SNAICC Conference links and resources

More information on 2007 SNAICC Conference

SNAICC Conference Program


< back to Media Releases

< back to SNAICC Conference page


SNAICC 1988 Poster