• Yorta Yorta man Andrew Jackomoss, Victoria's first Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, is overseeing a plan for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care across the state (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Andrew Jackomos, a Yorta Yorta man and Victoria's first Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, is all too aware of the impact of family violence on Aboriginal children in out-of-home care across Victoria.
By
Malarndirri McCarthy

Source:
NITV News
15 Jul 2015 - 11:16 AM  UPDATED 15 Jul 2015 - 1:11 PM

Since taking on the role of Victoria’s Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People in 2013, he has been tasked with the major responsibility of overseeing the Five Year Plan for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care across the state.

On Tuesday, Commissioner Jackomos told the Royal Commission into Family Violence that 63 out of every 1,000 Koori kids are in out-of-home care, compared to five in every 1,000 non-Koori kids.

Family violence affects nine out of 10 Koori kids, Commissioner Jackamos said.

"We need to be working with our children so that they know what is a healthy, responsible and respectable relationship"

Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission, Rachel Ellyard, asked if Aboriginal children are at higher risk.

"It goes back to dispossession, we know that there are areas in Victoria where it is unsafer to be a Koori baby than other areas"

"They are at higher risk," Commissioner Jackamos responded. He said that the reasons were complex and go back decades to colonisation.

"It goes back to dispossession, we know that there are areas in Victoria where it is unsafer to be a Koori baby than other areas."

Commissioner Jackomos said intergenerational trauma was a real issue for Aboriginal families. Children, in particular boys, need loving support and links to culture and family to maintain their cultural identity.

"We need to be working with our children so that they know what is a healthy, responsible and respectable relationship," he said. “We need to be working with our young boys so that they are respectful of their sisters, their mothers, their partners.

"The greatest resilience we can provide our children is the power and knowledge of good culture, good community standards, positive role models and strong engagement in education"

"The greatest resilience we can provide our children is the power and knowledge of good culture, good community standards, positive role models and strong engagement in education."

Australia's first Royal Commission into Family Violence 

The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence was established in response to the increasing number of victims of family violence — in particular, children.

In 2013, in Victoria, 44 deaths were linked to family violence. National figures show that just under half a million Australian women have been subjected to physical or sexual violence or assault in the past 12 months. More than 1 million experienced it at the hands of their partner or ex-partner.

The murder of 11-year-old Luke Batty by his father in 2014 touched the hearts of all Australians. Luke’s mother Rosie Batty is the 2015 Australian of the Year and has campaigned strongly to raise awareness about the scourge of domestic and family violence across Australia.

After Luke’s murder, Rosie Batty made a statement to the media that "Family violence happens to everybody. No matter how nice your house is, how intelligent you are. It can happen to anyone and everyone."

Australian of the Year Rosie Batty works to prevent domestic and family violence across the country (AAP)

Her loss moved then-Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews to push for a Royal Commission into Family Violence. The Royal Commission was established when Mr Andrews became the state’s premier.

Commission hearings continue in Melbourne with a final report due in February 2016.

Justice Marcia Neave AO was appointed Commissioner and Patricia Faulkner AO and Tony Nicholson as Deputy Commissioners to the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

In keeping with its terms of reference, the Royal Commission aims to make recommendations which:

  •  foster a violence-free society
  • reduce and aim to eliminate family violence
  • prevent the occurrence and escalation of family violence
  • build respectful family relationships
  • increase awareness of the extent and effects of family violence
  • reinforce community rejection of the use of family violence
  • ensure the safety of people who are or may be affected by family violence, by:

     - facilitating early intervention before violence occurs
     - providing fast, effective responses to those who report family violence
     - providing effective protections to adults and children who have been affected by family violence in the past,                    and remain at risk of family violence

  • support adults and children who have been affected by family violence
  • hold those who have been violent accountable for their actions
  • help people who use or may use family violence to change their behaviour.

Support is available for anyone who may be experiencing domestic and family violence: You can call the National Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line on 1800 737 732