Today I had the pleasure of hosting a vibrant roundtable discussion with directors general and executives from many government departments concerning the themes of our report “Listen To Us, and how agencies can respond to the views expressed by Aboriginal children and young people.
The discussion was very positive and focused on the value of the report’s content in informing current services, and the many strengths identified by Aboriginal children and young people that can be built on to support their health and wellbeing.
I appreciate the contribution of Dr Cheryl Kickett-Tucker, a valuable member of the reference group that guided this project, and Ambassador for Children and Young People Professor Colleen Hayward AM, who provided their perspectives to the group on what the project and its findings mean for the Aboriginal community.
Important elements of the conversation included methodologies by which Aboriginal children and young people can be supported to have their voices heard on important issues and large-scale initiatives, and how this must not be a rushed or short-term approach.
It is important for meaningful relationships to be established in local communities, and for the normally ‘silent’ members of these communities to be encouraged to step forward and have a say.
Other areas of discussion included the impact of racism on children and young people’s wellbeing and how agencies can contribute to a more tolerant and informed society on this complex issue.
I am very pleased with the large and positive response across the community after tabling this report in the WA Parliament in August, and I look forward to continuing to work across the community to promote the report’s use.
More information about “Listen To Us” and the other two reports produced following the consultation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People Speak Out and This Is Me, is available from the consultation’s web page.
Acting Commissioner for Children and Young People