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Govt begins search for Aboriginal children's commissioner

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The State Government has begun advertising the new role of Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People.

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The commissioner will be charged with promoting safety and wellbeing for Aboriginal children and young people “at a systemic level, specifically in the areas of education, health, child protection and justice,” says the job description, in an ad posted this morning.

The commissioner will report to the Commissioner for Children and Young People and be expected to influence policy across government, including for the purpose of reducing the disproportionate number of Aboriginal children in state care.

Premier and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Steven Marshall said the role would help to bridge the gap in outcomes between young Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in South Australia.

“We must do more to deal with the poor outcomes for Aboriginal children in child protection, education, health and justice,” he said in a statement.

“There is a significant gap in outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children, including a disproportionate representation of Aboriginal children in child protection.

“The Liberal Government recognises that there needs to be a strong voice advocating on behalf of Aboriginal children and young people.”

In April, Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson did not respond to questions from InDaily about when the commissioner would be appointed.

The Liberal Party announced the new role as an election commitment earlier this year.

Marshall said the Weatherill Government had refused to create the role, despite lobbying from organisations representing Indigenous people.

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