The abuse of any child is abhorrent and unacceptable, irrespective of whether the perpetrator is black or white, are family members or foster carers or leaders of trusted institutions.
There is never a justification or excuse for the abuse or harm of a child but what is fundamentally critical at this point is that assumptions of systemic issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities does not drive or underpin the future narrative.
For far too long the responsibility and blame of a failure in a collective structure to protect children can overshadow entire communities without pause to acknowledge similar failings still occur close to our respective homes, wherever they may be. The simple message is we all play a part in protecting children from harm.
Complacently is not an option nor can we find convenience in where abuse takes place, be it a remote community or a city. We cannot disconnect ourselves from the responsibility we have to those involved. Together we celebrate social successes, and together we must own the failings. Child abuse is not just an indigenous problem; these issues are societal ones and as a society we must work together first and foremost for our children.
We all must compassionately rally behind the children, families, and communities whose lives are forever changed because of abuse and provide unwavering supports to help them move forward.