Australia’s first Aboriginal Children's Commissioner, Andrew Jackomos, has a long-standing history of advocating for the rights of Aboriginal people, says Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda.
Mr Gooda described the Victorian Government’s appointment of Mr Jackomos as a significant and positive development for vulnerable children.
“Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families continue to experience trauma because of past actions by government and non-government agencies.
“A dedicated Aboriginal Children's Commissioner will help reduce the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are trapped in the justice system,” Mr Gooda said.
Mr Jackomos has extensive experience working in Aboriginal affairs and administration.
He was instrumental in developing and implementing the Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement and the Koori Court system, and is the director of the Koori Justice Unit.
In his new role as Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, Mr Jackomos will focus on reducing the high number of Aboriginal children who are in the justice system or who are at risk of abuse.
"If you look at the overrepresentation of our children and our young people in out-of-home care and in the justice system, the government has to do something," Mr Jackomos told the Age this week.
Mr Jackomos will oversee a five year plan for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care and he will provide advice to government and service providers about policies and practices that promote the safety and well-being of Aboriginal children.
The National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, says the appointment is a step in the right direction.
“The creation of this position provides the opportunity to focus on assisting families and communities to keep their children safe in culturally appropriate ways,” Ms Mitchell said.
Media contact: Dominic O’Grady (02) 9284 9861 or 0419 258 597.