Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report
Bringing them Home
Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families
Appendix 12 Acknowledgments
There have been many people involved in the work of this Inquiry. The Commission acknowledges their contribution and thanks them for it.
Indigenous Inquiry Commissioners Annette Peardon, Marjorie Thorpe, Dr Maryanne Bin Salik, Sadie Canning, Olive Knight, Kathy Mills, Anne Louis, Laurel Williams, Jackie Huggins, Josephine Ptero-David and Professor Marcia Langton and Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commissioner John Briton assisted with hearings and in the development of the report and its recommendations. They provided strong support for those who gave evidence to the Inquiry.
Indigenous Advisory Council
Indigenous Advisory Council members Annette Peardon, Brian Butler, Yami Lester, Irene Stainton, Floyd Chermside, Barabara Cummings, Grant Dradge, Carol Kendall, Lola McNaughton, Isabel Coe, Peter Rotimah, Nigel d'Souza, Maureen Abbott, Margaret Ah Kee, Bill Lowah, Matilda House and Jim Wright assisted the Inquiry to chart a clear direction and provided advice on its conduct.
The Inquiry Secretary was Jim Brooks. He first developed the process for the Inquiry and then kept it on course through many difficult and complex times. He provided leadership and support to the staff team, good advice to Commissioners and encouragement to the many Indigenous people who came forward to tell their stories.
Meredith Wilkie was the report's editor and principal drafter. She directed research and writing of the report with clear vision, deep understanding and sheer hard work. She assisted the Commission to develop its strategic approach to the report and its recommendations.
A number of people worked on the Inquiry team over a considerable time contributing significantly to its administration, its hearing and consultation process and researching and writing of the report. They include Ian Clyde, Kate Burns, Jason Field, Bryce Nimmo, Karen Menzies, Karen Smith and Teya Dusseldorp. Lorena Allam was the media officer for 12 months, ensuring that the Inquiry's work was well known throughout Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.
Other Inquiry staff made important contributions over a shorter time, including Debbie Adams, Phynea Clarke, Ruth McCausland, Cassie Murphy, Jeremy Goff, James Jarvis, Elizabeth Moore, Anna Reynolds, Tina Robertson, Bronwyn Turnbull and Denis Maher.
A number of the Commission's staff assisted the Inquiry for specific short-term tasks sometimes at short notice. They include Linda Urh, David Allen, Jenni Whelan, Mark Nicholls, Merris Amos, Sue Zelinka, Lisa Thompson, Saku Akmeemana and Bronwyn Mason. Short-term research assistants were Coralie Properjohn, John Sheldon, Virginia Pursell and Yolanda Walker.
Ginny Muldowney and Lisa Thompson laid out and desktopped the report. Ros van Vliet with the assistance of Lindy Smith produced the discussion paper Families on File on behalf of the Privacy Commissioner. The Commission's library, reception, registry and corporate services staff provided essential administrative support and assistance.
Research assistants Anna Nettheim, Ruth McCausland, Cassie Murphy and Maureen Wilkie also assisted as volunteers.
Assistance outside the Commission
Field workers Terry Hood, Marlene Jackamarra and the South Australian Legal Rights Movement Inc. assisted in arranging some of the Inquiry's hearings and in collecting histories. Joylene Koolmatrie provided counselling and support to many of those who contributed their histories.
Chris Cunneen, Terry Libesman, Catherine Iorns and Dr Sarah Pritchard (who also provided editorial assistance) were engaged as expert consultants on particular issues within the Inquiry's terms of reference.
The Public Interest Law Clearing House and its member firms, co-ordinated by Simeon Beckett and Sue Mahony, provided additional research assistance. Professors Garth Nettheim and Colin Tatz offered their expert advice from many years of experience of these issues.
The Berndt Museum of Anthropology (University of WA), the Mitchell Library (Sydney), the Battye Library (Perth), Heide Smith Photography, NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Mary Terszak provided photographs for use in the report.
Many others quietly assisted the Inquiry in a great variety of ways. They may go unidentified but they are not forgotten.