CW: discussion of racism and child removal

26 May is National Sorry Day, where we mourn the forcible government removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families and communities, known as the Stolen Generations.

Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) recognises that this violent removal was done in the name of child and youth protection. In Victoria, punitive child protection and youth justice interventions continue at high rates against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Today, Australian child protection services are 10.5 times more likely to remove an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child than a non-Indigenous child. Victoria is the state with the second-highest rate of Aboriginal children and young people overrepresented in out-of-home care.

The work of apology, truth and reconciliation is clearly not behind us.

Since the Bringing Them Home report on the impact of the Stolen Generations was tabled in 1997, there have been over 33 reports into child protection.

The Yoorrook Justice Commission made 46 recommendations in this year’s Yoorrook for Justice report, of which the government has only accepted 28.

We urge the Victorian Government – do not let there be another report, another child taken from their family and community. Listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about what their children and young people need.

Government must accept the Yoorrook for Justice recommendations in full, recommit to youth justice reforms, and #RaiseTheAge of child criminal responsibility to at least 14.

Sorry means you don’t do it again.