From today, more than 1,500 delegates will gather on Larrakia Country in Garamilla/Darwin to elevate the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

The tenth biennial SNAICC conference highlights the important work the Indigenous childcare peak and Aboriginal community-controlled organisations are doing to ensure all First Nations kids grow up safe and cared for in their family, community, and culture.

SNAICC –National Voice for our Children CEO Catherine Liddle has told NIRS News experts from across the child and family sector will use the three-days to share their challenges, aspirations, and achievements.

“There’ll be a lot around how you strengthen our families and improve the lives and outcomes of our children through community-controlled responses, and I think that’s what everyone wants to hear, they want to hear how different communities respond to their own challenges and whether or not there are some learning lessons that we can have.

“Obviously there are some big challenges in the sector, we know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are still grossly over-represented in the child protection system and out of home removals, and we know there are significant challenges in ensuring all children meet their developmental domains.

“So we’ll be talking about how we meet those challenges, but how we do it in a way that concentrates on what the strength of families are.”

SNAICC’23 is the first face-to-face meeting of members and experts in the sector since 2019 and will platform over 110 sessions on how Aboriginal community-controlled organistions are delivering results in early years services and care and child protection.

Ms Liddle an Arrernte/Luritja woman from Central Australia says the event will also showcase the rich culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, with a particular focus on the Northern Territory.

“We are very proud to hold SNAICC’23 on Larrakia lands and thank Larrakia Nation for their support to ensure our conference reflects and incorporates their heritage through ceremonies and artwork.

“As well as the plenaries, keynotes, concurrent sessions and yarning circles, we have a strong cultural program including performances each day and a marketplace with more than 30 services and artists and makers exhibiting.

“SNAICC’23 will also be an economic boost to the local economy, with our 1500 plus delegate staking advantage of local tours and attractions before and after the event.”

5 – 7 September, Darwin Convention Centre

  • 110+conference sessions
  • 100+organisations, associations and entities presenting
  • 1600+delegates in attendance
  • 400+organisations, associations and entities represented
  • 50+organisations supporting through sponsorship, donation and services rendered
  • 30+services and artists/makers exhibiting

Speaker highlights

  • International keynote – Judge Frances Eivers, former Aotearoa New Zealand Children’s Commissioner, now member of Board of Commissioners
  • Pat Turner AM, Lead Convenor Coalition of Peaks and CEO NACCHO
  • Dean Parkin, Yes23 Campaign Director
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Commissioners panel
  • Federal Early Childhood Education Minister Dr Anne Aly
  • Territory Families Minister Kate Worden
  • Rob McPhee, CEO Danila Dilba Health Service
  • Youth Advocates and performers Nooky and J-Milla