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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children Safe in Culture: QFCC Research in the Round


On 31 May 2017 the QFCC held our third Research in the Round event, hosted by Principal Commissioner Cheryl Vardon. The theme of the event was “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children Safe in Culture”. This theme was suggested by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people consulted by the QFCC.

The Welcome to Country was given by Uncle Desmond Sandy. Uncle Desmond is a Senior Elder of the Jagera peoples of the Brisbane area and a spokesperson for both the Turrbal and Jagera peoples.

The event was attended by Elders from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Queensland.

In addition to interested researchers, other attendees included senior representatives from:

  • the legal community
  • the Queensland state government
  • non-government organisations

The event presented important research showing when individuals, families, organisations and communities have a connection to culture that it makes them stronger, and that this makes for a safer and more supportive environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Providing safe and supportive environments was described by Professor West as ‘the greatest challenge of our time’.

Three papers were presented by local outstanding researchers, each exploring the importance of culture in different settings. Papers were presented by Dr Gerald Featherstone, Professor Roianne West, and co-presenters Ms Lisa Hillan and Mr Frank Cook.

The event was facilitated for the second time by Ms Zoe Rathus AM who oversaw a lively discussion involving presenters and audience members.

Our next Research in the Round event is scheduled for November 2017.