• Aunty Sue Blacklock receiving her award from Fiona Arney
A Gamilaraay elder has been appointed the Australian Centre for Child Protection's first Ambassador for Children.
By
Ben Henderson

Source:
NITV News
29 Jan 2014 - 4:20 PM  UPDATED 30 Jan 2014 - 10:20 AM

Aunty Sue Blacklock from Winangay Resources has dedicated her life to helping Aboriginal children in care and says she feels privileged to receive such recognition.

"I feel honoured; I asked myself the question, why me," said Ms Blacklock.

The director of the Australian Centre for Child Protection, Fiona Arney, says Ms Blacklock will play an integral role in creating a united voice to combat the over-representation of Koori children in out-of-home care.

"In recognition of Aunt Sue's dedication, her passionate commitment, I think it’s time that exceptional Australians such as Aunt Sue were honoured in this way and recognised in this way," said Ms Arney.

Ms Arney is focused on building an evidence base for child protection reform and effective intervention for Aboriginal children, families and communities.

"We have 1 in 20 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, on any one evening, in out-of-home care," said Ms Arney.

For many children being removed from the family home also means disconnection from their local community and culture.

For this reason, Ms Blacklock feels as though the Stolen Generations never ceased.

"They said sorry on one hand and take our kids on the other hand, so where’s the apology there, it’s never stopped, its ongoing, they’re still taking our kids," said Ms Blacklock.

She says the wrong actions are being taken and our children need to be kept close to country.

"They don't give us a chance in the community to phone carers, kinship, so they just take them, they just give them to anybody outside the community, because the case workers don’t go back and try and find the kinship or tribe they come from," said Ms Blacklock.

Winangay Resources and the Australian Centre for Child Protection are working to adopt a new and effective use of assessment tools and support for carers to ensure Aboriginal children remain close to their community and culture.