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Media Releases

National Launch - Wednesday June 26th 10.30 am Senate Committee Room 1S4 - Through Young Black Eyes

Indigenous Family Violence, Child Abuse and Child Neglect Prevention Resources

Speech given by Muriel Cadd at National Launch of Through Young Black Eyes

" I would like to begin today by recognising that we are gathered here on the traditional lands of the Ngunnawal people. SNAICC appreciates the opportunity to gather here in Ngunnawal country to launch Through Young Black Eyes a set of resources and publications to educate and motivate our communities to stand up against family violence, child abuse and child neglect.

May I welcome you all to this launch and in particular the Hon Phillip Ruddock, MP, the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, who will formally launch Through Young Black Eyes in a moment.

SNAICC has always taken the view that violence is not the way our communities should deal with the anger, frustration and despair that flows from generations of abuse and violence inflicted upon our people through colonisation, dispossession and the removal of our children.

Over ten years ago we produced Through Black Eyes, a handbook responding to the high levels of domestic violence in communities and in 1996 SNAICC researched and prepared the National Plan for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. Now, with the support and financial assistance of the Commonwealth Government through the Partnerships Against Domestic Violence Program, SNAICC has produced Through Young Black Eyes.

When governments sought to destroy our communities they took our children. Now that our right to raise our children has been recognised we must act responsibly to protect and nurture them. This responsibility includes protecting them from the devastating impact of family violence and abuse. It also includes challenging and working with governments and the broader Australian community to address the poverty, inadequate housing and appalling living conditions which make child neglect a certainty for thousands of our children.

SNAICC calls upon all Indigenous leaders from child care workers, to sporting coaches to those on community committees, ATSIC councils and others to

  • confront violence and abuse, wherever it exists,

  • uphold the rights of children to grow up in an environment which is free from violence and

  • turn to - not against each other and heal those that may be or have been perpetrators of violence.

Children need to be proud of the people around them to be proud of their culture and proud of who they are - Australia's Indigenous people.

All Indigenous leaders in our communities should ask themselves these questions.

Will your children be proud of you if you neglect or harm them ?, if you beat those you love ? or if you turn away from them when they need you to protect them ? Confronting family violence, child abuse and child neglect with honesty and commitment will make our children proud, strong and happy.

It is time to stand up, stand strong, and protect our children. "

Muriel Cadd is the Chairperson of SNAICC and CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency.

On Wednesday June 26th at 10.30 am the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care, SNAICC, and the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, the Hon Phillip Ruddock, MP, launched Through Young Black Eyes - Indigenous Family Violence, Child Abuse and Child Neglect Prevention Resources.

Through Young Black Eyes aims to protect Indigenous children from family violence, child abuse and child neglect and includes

  • A community workers resource book to assist community workers with prevention programs and support child victims of family violence, child abuse or child neglect

  • A community leaders guide which calls upon all Indigenous leaders to stand up against violence and abuse

  • A parents leaflet to assist parents and families who may know children at risk of violence or abuse

Through Young Black Eyes was produced by SNAICC with funding from the Commonwealth Government Partnerships Against Domestic Violence Program.

SNAICC Briefing paper - Statistics on Indigenous Family Violence, Child Abuse and Child Neglect

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