Working for a better future and outcomes for our children
4th International Indigenous Social Work Conference 2017 Report
- 09 August 2017
Conference: 4th International Indigenous Social Work Conference 2017 – Alta, Norway
Employee: Nadia Currie
Position: Operations Manager
On behalf of QATSICPP, I submitted two (2) abstracts to the 4th International Indigenous Social Work Conference 2017 (Conference) held in Alta, Norway. The two abstracts were:
- Redefining Aboriginal Community Control (individual presentation); and
- Knowledge Circles (collaborative presentation with Candice Butler).
Both presentations are underpinned by ongoing projects at QATSICPP, which focus on better outcomes for children and families – all the while acknowledging the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle.
The Conference was held over four (4) days with international speakers presenting on topics pertaining to social work and the impacts that [they] are currently facing, which ranged from government pressure and/or funding; systemic racism (inclusive of institutional racism); increasing numbers of Indigenous children in the system and new and innovative ways of practicing in the social work arena.
- QATSICPP is innovatively ahead of its international counterparts in proactively advocating for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children;
- The QATSICPP Resources are tools that can be embedded into an international context with practice being holistic and culturally safe and inclusive of different (geographically) communities;
- Queensland [and Australia] has a dated system that [strongly] demonstrates an increase of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care; and
- The sector (this can also refer to other sectors) needs to focus on providing solutions rather than the current system of blaming and only discussing the problems.
‘From housing campaign to multicultural understanding: The development of professional social work in Sami areas in Norway’ Professor Jan Erik Henriksen, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Sapmi, Norway
Henriksen’s presentation highlighted the similarities in struggling throughout time with governments’ assimilation policies all the while maintaining cultural connection. Henriksen also spoke about establishing the Sami Parliament and effects that it has had on people in engagement and providing voice to the people.
A major disparity that Henriksen noted in his speech was how the Sami people were affected by World War 2 and the impact of Nazi dominance in the area. This period affected the Sami people with generational losses that in the same affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffered from the Frontier Wars until institutional removal.
Overall, Henriksen’s presentation was the highlight for me as it demonstrated (just like Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) that through adversity, strong and capable people emerge to retain their culture and connection so benefit future generations.