On the 19th July, respected Gadigal elder, Uncle Chicka Madden opened the first Reference Group meeting of the Family is Culture Independent Review with a Welcome to Country.
The Reference Group members include representatives from Grandmothers Against Removal (GMAR), Aboriginal community leaders, experts in Child Protection and Aboriginal Youth Ambassadors with lived experience of OOHC. Attending the meeting were:
Professor Megan Davis (Chair), Suellyn Tighe (GMARs NSW), Jennifer Swan (GMARs NSW), Deborah Swan (GMARs NSW), Tim Ireland (CEO AbSec), Melinda Mumbler (AbSec Youth Ambassador), Steve Kinmond (Ombudsman), Julianna Demetrius (Ombudsman), Kobie Mulligan (Senior Project Officer), Lucinda Stewart (Legal Researcher), Vicky Goldberg (Project Support Officer).
Members expressed their commitment to the work of the Independent Review, and endorsed a number of decisions at this first meeting including:
Agreement on the research methods to examine the circumstances of the 1152 Aboriginal children and young people in the Review
Endorsement of the approach to engaging with communities across the State during the Review, including linking with Reference Group member networks across NSW.
Chairperson Professor Megan Davis thanked the members attending, saying that their advice and experience will go a long way to supporting the important work of the Independent Review. The next meeting will be held in September 2017.
Uncle Chicka Madden opens the meeting with a Welcome to Country.