30 May 2018.
Written by Anglicare Chief Executive Officer, Jeremy Halcrow.
We are currently celebrating Reconciliation Week and the nation-wide theme this year is “Don’t keep history a mystery”. One frightening statistic being promoted by Reconciliation Australia is that surveys have found that 1 in 3 Australians “don’t believe that Aboriginal people experiences mass killings and forced child removals in the past”. No doubt the silence of the education system for older generations is a factor. However I have discussed this with Anglicare staff groups and one factor is that many new migrant arrivals have no knowledge of this aspect of Australian history. For this reasons alone, it’s important that we mark Reconciliation Week and take the time to listen to the experiences of our Aboriginal colleagues.
As an organisation heavily involved in the Care system we cannot afford to forget history. The way the Foster Care system is structured is risking a repeat of the stolen generation. If not handled wisely the new permanency planning reforms in NSW may make the situation worse. There needs to be greater understanding and appreciation of how the adoption practices of the 1950s and 1960s went wrong.