Slide 2

Working for a better future and outcomes for our children

"Keeping It Real: Empowering Aboriginal Children, Families and Communities" AbSec Conference, Coffs Harbour 2017

The Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat (AbSec) hosted their biennial conference from the 22nd to the 24th of November 2017 at beautiful Coffs Harbour.

The first day of the conference focussed on the Sector. Sidney Williams, Training and Education Coordinator, kicked off the QATSICPP team presentations by speaking about the evaluation findings from the rollout of the QATSICPP Practice Standards workshop and Supervision Framework training. He did this through using snippets from both training modules. Delegates were engaged throughout Sidney's presentation.

After lunch, I had the opportunity to speak to the delegates about how I have put the Practice Standards into practice in my own role as Senior Practice Leader at QATSICPP. I highlighted the work to date of the Community of Practice and the awesome opportunity I have had delivering external supervision to the Practice Leads of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing Services throughout Queensland.

The second and third day focussed on the Worker. A keynote presentation by Jocelyn Formsma and Caleb Turner, both from the Moose Cree First Nation in Northern Ontario, started the day off by getting us all thinking. Jocelyn and Caleb helped to reinforce the importance of not forgetting that our daily work aligns with the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, The Convention on the Rights of the Child and Active Efforts. My take-away was the importance of not forgetting the voice of children and young people and including them in decision making!

After morning tea, Nadia Currie, Operations Manager, provided an overview of the work that her and Lenny Dahlen, Member Engagement and Participation Coordinator, undertook to redefine Aboriginal Community Control for the Aboriginal Community Controlled Child Protection sector in Queensland. There was a lot of interest and questions in relation to the findings of this project and the impending release of the report.

On day three, Nadia and I presented about Knowledge Circles and the process that we undertake when engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Queensland. We highlighted that the importance of this process is involving real voice and real participation otherwise we are doing an injustice to participants in these Knowledge Circles if this does not occur.

We enjoyed hearing from the other speakers and the opportunity to network with the Child Protection sector in New South Wales.

We would like to thank Tim Ireland and the team at AbSec for allowing us the opportunity to both present and participate in the conference.

By Candice Butler, Senior Practice Leader

  • Child Protection Environment


    of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were placed with a kinship or Indigenous carer.
  • Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak


    There are 69,200 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander children / young people in Queensland.