In 2014 the Commissioner consulted 1,271 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people across WA to give them a voice on what is important to them, what they hope to do in the future and what help they need to get there.
Seventeen community organisations were appointed by the Commissioner, following an expression of interest process, to run consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, which were held throughout WA, including in Kununurra, Fitzroy Crossing, Derby, Beagle Bay, Marble Bar, Newman, Kalgoorlie, Meekatharra, Albany, Esperance and several areas of Perth.
Additionally, many more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people had a say via an online survey.
Three publications, which report on the findings of this consultation, were released on 4 August 2015. These are available to download below.
- "Listen To Us": Using the views of WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people to improve policy and service delivery – this report, which was tabled in the WA Parliament, details the views expressed by Aboriginal children and young people and how these views can be practically applied to improve the way agencies support their healthy development and wellbeing.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People Speak Out – a community report that focuses on the views of the children who took part in the consultation under five key themes.
- This is Me: Aboriginal young people's stories – 12 Aboriginal children and young people tell their stories, in their own voice, about their lives and hopes for the future.
In response to feedback shared by Aboriginal children and young people during the consultation, Phase 1 of this project involved producing the Engaging with Aboriginal Children and Young People Toolkit. The toolkit will assist organisations and agencies that are invested in improving the wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people. The toolkit can be used by organisations to engage with Aboriginal children and young people in an effective and meaningful way. It will be designed to be sustainable, evidence-based and embedded in culturally secure practice.
The toolkit focuses on the strengths of Aboriginal culture and communities as a key support for Aboriginal children and young people, and acknowledges the role that culture and community play in supporting children and young people to develop and express their views on matters that affect them.
In the next phase of this project, we will focus on recognising and building the leadership capacity of Aboriginal children and young people. Phase 2 will highlight the various forms of leadership within communities and demonstrate the capacity and opportunity for Aboriginal children and young people to participate in decision making in their community.
Snapshot of findings
- The children and young people who had a say in this consultation identified many positive aspects about their lives and communities, including a respect for their culture and strong pride in their heritage.
- Many said they benefit from strong family connections and value education as a way of achieving their goals.
- Some of the children and young people who participated in the consultation spoke directly about health and safety concerns for themselves and their families and friends.
- Others spoke about the need for more cohesive communities.
- Children and young people expressed great hope and bold visions for the future, and provided many insights into what support they need to reach their goals.
- Listen To Us report, Jenni Perkins, ABC Local, 5 August 2015
- Noongar kids optimistic about future: report, Dr Cheryl Kickett-Tucker, National Indigenous Radio Service - 12 August 2015
A variety of fun and innovative consultation activities were used, including videos and songs.
Information on the consultations is available on the project’s Facebook page, which was updated regularly with news and photos.
Listening to the views of Aboriginal children seminar - 2015