Representatives from Kempsey were among those who attended a Sydney forum called “Keeping Aboriginal Children Safe On Country and In Culture” on June 9.
The forum brought together Aboriginal child welfare experts, stolen generations survivors, foster carers, caseworkers and community leaders, who considered the future of Aboriginal children who are not able to safely live with their families.
The gathering considered the need for community healing, and the critical role of community connection in providing identity, belonging and well-being for Aboriginal children.
Among the Kempsey contingent were foster carers Eddie and Rose Vale, foster care support worker at the Burrun Dalai Aboriginal Corporation Warren Ahoy, and Uncle Michael Welsh from the Kinchela Boys’ Home Aboriginal Corporation.
"Child protection is everyone's business. It impacts on all of our lives,” Mr Ahoy said of the forum.
Uncle Michael talked of his harrowing childhood growing up in the Kinchela Boys’ Home, while there was also a screening of the short documentary ‘For the Kids’ which weaved together Eddie and Rose’s foster parent story with the Dalai Dreamers footy team’s preparation for the Kids in Care Cup Aboriginal Rugby League knockout competition.
The participants identified key principles that lay out a strong foundation for an immediate call for action - the call to care for Aboriginal children within the safety of culture.
To find out more about becoming an Aboriginal foster carer visit fosteringnsw.com.au or call 1800 236 783.