The Review came about from the advocacy of Grandmothers Against Removal (GMAR) and others at the 2016 Our Kids Our Way: Hearing the Voice of Aboriginal People forum.
The then Family and Community Services Minister also committed to bring about change, starting with an Independent Review.
The former Minister for Family and Community Services in NSW appointed Professor Megan Davis as Chairperson on 19 December 2016, and the Terms of Reference were established for the Review. Professor Davis appointed thirteen people to the Review Reference Group in June 2017.
Professor Megan Davis
Megan Davis is a Cobble Cobble Aboriginal woman from the Barrungam nation in South-West Queensland, who has lived in Sydney since 2001, and supports the North Queensland Cowboys.
She has a deep commitment to justice in decision-making that affects the welfare, cultural connection and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities. Megan has dedicated much of her time in recent years to advocating for the rights of the child, and working for better legal and human rights for Aboriginal women and children. Professor Megan Davis is Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous UNSW and a Professor of Law, UNSW Law. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. Her scholarly research work is focused on law reform in the areas of constitutional law and Aboriginal women.
Working for the United Nations
Professor Davis was an expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples for six years. She is a member of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a subsidiary body of the United Nations Human Rights Council, providing expert advice to member states on the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Professor Davis has also appeared before the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Working with Courts and Councils
Megan is a member of the Prime Minister's Expert Panel on the Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution, and since 2016 has been a member of the Prime Minister’s Referendum Council leading the Aboriginal community dialogue process.
In 2016 Professor Davis was appointed as co-Commissioner for the Independent Review of Queensland’s Youth Detention Centres.
The Independent Review Reference Group met quarterly throughout the Review period and were comprised of Aboriginal community members and experts with professional and lived experience of issues affecting Aboriginal children and young people, and particularly child and family experience of out-of-home care (OOHC). The Reference Group included three representatives of Grandmothers Against Removals (GMAR) NSW and four youth ambassadors with personal experience of OOHC in NSW.
The Reference Group’s role was to provide perspectives and advice to the Chairperson, assisting with decision-making in line with the Terms of Reference, and ensuring broad community views were represented.
Thirteen members were appointed to the Review Reference Group by Professor Davis in June 2017.