19 October 2023

We stand with organisations rejecting calls in Federal Parliament by the Opposition Leader.

Image: Joint statement in white text on an orange background. 'Organisations reject calls for a Royal Commission into abuse of Aboriginal Children.'

Child abuse is a serious crime, which has a devastating impact on children, family and communities. The safety of children should not be politicised or used as a platform to advance a political position.

It is frustrating and disappointing to hear the Opposition Leader and Senator Price repeating the same claims and calls they made earlier this year, again with no evidence and no credible solutions.

If any politician, or anyone at all, has any evidence about the sexual abuse of children then they must report it to the authorities.

These calls for a Royal Commission into the sexual abuse of Aboriginal children have been made without one shred of real evidence being presented. They play into the basest negative perceptions of some people about Aboriginal people and communities.

In April this year, the Australian Child Maltreatment Study revealed the majority of Australians (62 per cent) have experienced at least one type of child abuse or neglect, with domestic violence, physical, emotional or sexual abuse the most common.

Child abuse is far too prevalent in Australia, full stop.

Singling out Aboriginal families and communities is harmful and puts ideology before evidence. The evidence and the solutions are very clear.

There have been more than 33 reports into child protection since the 'Bringing Them Home Report' in 1997.

SNAICC produces an annual report, Family Matters, and has done so for many years. The report details the evidence-based solutions that will enable our children to grow up safe, loved and protected. These solutions have been developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations.

They prioritise investment in effective, culturally safe supports for families and children before they reach crisis point, through Aboriginal community-controlled services.

The most effective and immediate action the Government can take to make children safe and protect their human rights is to appoint a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Commissioner, with the legislated power to investigate and make recommendations on issues impacting our children.

This will be more effective and more powerful than any Royal Commission.

We have been calling for a National Commissioner for many years. We now call for bipartisan support to make this happen.

Supported by organisations with decades of knowledge and expertise in the protection and safety of children have signed this statement in support of SNAICC including: 

  • Absec

  • ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body

  • ACT Children and Young People’s Commissioner Jodie Griffiths-Cook

  • ACT for Kids

  • Allambi Care

  • ANTaR

  • Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies

  • Australian Education Union

  • Barnardos

  • Benevolent Society



  • Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare

  • Coalition of Peaks on Closing the Gap

  • Dr. Graham Gee

  • Families Australia

  • Healing Foundation

  • Healing the Past by Nurturing the Future

  • Indigenous Allied Health Australia

  • Key Assets

  • Life Without Barriers

  • Lowitja Institute

  • MacKillop Family Services



  • National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing Research

  • National Coalition for Child Safety and Wellbeing

  • National Health Leadership Forum

  • Onemda Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing

  • OzChild

  • Partnership for Justice in Health

  • PeakCare Qld

  • Professor Catherine Chamberlain

  • Reconciliation Australia

  • Replanting the Birthing Trees

  • SAFeST Start Coalition

  • Strive

  • Tony McAvoy SC

  • WA Commissioner for Children and Young People Jacqueline McGowan-Jones

  • Zoe Robinson - Office of the Advocate for Children and Young People

Life Without Barriers partners with SNAICC for kids in out-of-home care

Historic commitment to transfer out-of-home care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

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