Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse
Ms. Clare Martin, Chief Minister of Australia’s Northern Territory Government has announced the most comprehensive package to tackle Indigenous disadvantage in the history of the Territory.
‘Closing the Gap’ is the Northern Territory’s Indigenous Generational Plan, aimed at closing the gap in outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Territorians. It contains a vision and objectives for the future socio-economic wellbeing of Indigenous Territorians and sets ambitious but achievable targets for the next 5, 10 and 20 years. It also identifies priority areas for action in the next 5 years, based on the best available evidence of which actions will have the greatest impact.
On 15 June 2007, the Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse (the Inquiry) released its findings. The Inquiry report included 97 recommendations across 22 themes, addressing the child protection system, as well as broader social and economic factors including housing, unemployment, offender rehabilitation, health, alcohol misuse and education.
While the Northern Territory Government supports the messages and recommendations of the Inquiry, additional areas need to be addressed if we are to overcome Indigenous disadvantage within a generation. ‘Closing the Gap’ goes beyond the recommendations of the Inquiry to provide a framework for overcoming Indigenous disadvantage.
The Northern Territory Government has committed AU$286.43 million towards 5 year actions to implement ‘Closing the Gap’.
This commitment includes:
- 1 Children’s Commissioner
- 10 child protection workers
- 37 additional specialist Family and Children’s Services (FACS) staff
- 40 Police – Remote Policing Strategy, Child Abuse Task Force
- 4 specialist alcohol rehabilitation workers
- 26 family violence support workers
- 10 community corrections officers
- 10 school counselors
- 47 teachers and assistant teachers for remote schools and preschools
- 3 specialist Department of Employment, Education and Training staff
- 1 Aboriginal and Islander education coordinator
- 2 court clinicians
- 1 witness assistance officer
- 8 alcohol compliance inspectors
- 23 specialist FACS staff for the Child Abuse Taskforce.
- Safety – Child Protection – AU$79.36m
- Safety – Policing, Justice and Family Violence – AU$38.61m
- Safety – Alcohol and Drug Management – AU$10.11m
- Health – AU$23.4m
- Housing – AU$42.32m
- Education – AU$70.68m
- Jobs – AU$13m
- Culture – AU$0.5m
- A Better Way of Doing Business – AU$8.45m
Full reports at; Closing the Gap