Participating in Taskforce 1000

From the 20th to the 27th of October, Maria and I had the privilege to participate in Taskforce 1000 when it met in Wodonga and Wangaratta.

The taskforce is a review of all Aboriginal children in OOHC in Victoria, chaired by Andrew Jackomos, Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People.

It was a deeply moving experience hearing the life stories of some 50 children, 15 of whom were under UMFC OOHC.

I was very impressed by the professionalism and compassion demonstrated by our staff who were clearly committed to achieving the best outcomes possible.

Andrew will present his report to the Victorian Parliament when his review is completed, next month. I anticipate amongst his recommendations will be for much more effort put into exploring family networks for kinship placements. One of the parts of the process was for agencies to reflect on how we could support such placements better.

I suggested UMFC could conduct a cultural audit. I have spoken with one of our Board members, Liz Hetta, to assist us in this action. This action was prompted not only by the taskforce experience but also by a comment made at the Ministerial Committee on OOHC on the 23/10. Prof Murial Bamblett was cited as saying, “If we get it right for Aboriginal children we get it right for all children.” That sounds right to me and therefore clear about the work required to make sure we do.

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UMFC acknowledges the First Peoples of Australia as the traditional custodians of the land on which we work. We acknowledge their culture is a living one, which relates to their ongoing connection to all things living and non-living on land, sea and sky. We pay our respect to their elders past and present. May our children of today lead us to a better tomorrow.


UMFC acknowledges the support of the Victorian and the Australian Governments

Commitment to Child Safety

All children and young people who access UMFC Services have a right to feel and be safe and to be treated with respect. We are committed to providing a welcoming and safe environment and working towards the best interests of children and young people at all times.