Territory Stories

Annual Report 2008/2009 Children's Commissioner of the Northern Territory



Annual Report 2008/2009 Children's Commissioner of the Northern Territory

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Tabled paper 627


Tabled papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT




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Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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Page 38 Recommendation 1 - Operational Responsibility NT and Australian Governments Recommendation NTG Response Progress Outcome That Aboriginal child sexual abuse in the Northern Territory be designated as an issue of urgent national significance. By both the Australian and Northern Territory Governments, and both governments immediately establish a collaborative partnership with a Memorandum of Understanding to specifically address the protection of Aboriginal children from sexual abuse. It is critical that both governments commit to genuine consultation with Aboriginal people in designing initiatives for Aboriginal communities. The NTG will negotiate a longterm Generational Plan of Action with the Australian Government. Closing the Gap details the Northern Territorys commitment to the first five years of the Generational Plan of Action. Closing the Gap takes a longterm generational perspective to secure a positive future for Aboriginal children. It both incorporates and goes beyond the recommendations of the Inquiry and includes a focus on working in partnership with Indigenous people. The Report was commissioned by the NTG and its recommendations are primarily directed at actions to be undertaken by the NTG and its Agencies. However, it is clear that the Federal Government did designate child sexual abuse as an issue of national urgency. NTER documentation indicates that the intervention was announced in response to the first recommendation of the Report (FaHCSIA, 2008a, p. 3) although the response took a quite different form to the collaborative and consultative approach involving genuine consultation with Aboriginal people as recommended by the Reports authors (Wild & Anderson, 2007. p. 82). With respect to the NTG commitment, no formal long-term Generational Plan of Action with the Australian Government has been developed but there has been a great deal of inter-governmental activity with respect to the CTG initiatives. The NTG recently announced that it would align its CTG targets with those of the Federal Closing the Gap initiative, endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG, 2009a) as part of the National Indigenous Reform Agreement (NIRA). The six COAG targets focus on life expectancy, mortality Partially met The protection needs of vulnerable Aboriginal children in the NT are in some danger of being subsumed into broader policy initiatives aimed at addressing Indigenous disadvantage. There is now a CommonwealthTerritory Agreement (or National Partnership) under the National Indigenous Reform Agreement, but there is no MOU to specifically address the protection of Aboriginal children from sexual abuse as recommended in the Report.

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