Families are First – now and always

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Commissioner Phillip Brooks participated in the 3rd National Social and Emotional Wellbeing Forum in Cairns this March. This was a great opportunity to promote the work the QFCC undertakes in supporting families and communities to grow strong, resilient and safe young adults through Talking Families and Families are First.

On Wednesday 13 March, Commissioner Phillip Brooks participated in the 3rd National Social and Emotional Wellbeing Forum in Cairns. Chaired by Samantha Wild, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social, health and emotional wellbeing specialist, the conference heard from keynote speakers responding to current needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. 

Community leaders, service providers, government and academics listened and shared insights, stories and learnings about working in the sector with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. 

As keynote speaker, Phillip spoke about our collective role in supporting families and communities to grow strong, resilient and safe young adults. This was an opportunity to share what the QFCC is doing with Talking Families and Families are First to:

•    listen to children and young people and meet their needs;•    understand and promote the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in raising children;•    encourage connections so that families and communities build on their strengths and work together to ensure children have what they need to thrive and are empowered to ask for help when it is needed; and•    promote the role of families and community to provide the best care for their children.

These projects challenge the narrative in the child and family sector to move from being a part of the child protection system to being part of a system for protecting children

As part of Families are First, the QFCC will listen, explore, celebrate and share positive stories from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families about how they support children to thrive.

Keynote speakers from the day included:

Dr Gracelyn Smallwood AO, Professor of Nursing, James Cook UniversityMental health from a First Nations perspective

Joe Williams, Founder of Enemy WithinSpoke personally about living with mental illness and suicidal ideations

Emeritus Professor Judy AtkinsonIdentifying inter-generational connections between behaviour and childhood trauma