Shine Lawyers is laying the groundwork for a national class action against child protection departments.

The law firm has already filed a complaint in the Australian Human Rights Commission against the Department of Communities and Justice in New South Wales alleging it’s been unjustly removing First Nations children from their families into state care since 1992.

The complaint will look at whether New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia engaged in unlawful racial discrimination by removing Indigenous children from their families, placing them into out of home care in breach of Aboriginal Child Placement Principles, and/or failing to reunify First Nations children with their families. 

Shine’s Special Counsel, Caitlin Wilson, who’s leading the lawsuit, says while the HRC examines its NSW complaint, they’ll start work on filing the complaint against WA next.

Ms Wilson each claim in each state will lead to a class action addressing the continuation of the Stolen Generation.

“The foster care system has been flooded with First Nations children who we allege should never have been removed from their families and/or have been isolated from their families, community and culture once placed into State care,” she says.  

 “No parent recovers after the loss of a child and no child can be separated from their parent, community and culture without experiencing some level of trauma from that separation. This decades long tragedy needs to be addressed and the continuation of the stolen generation needs to stop, and that’s why we’ve taken the first step of filing a complaint in the Australian Human Rights Commission.”

You can listen to the full interview with Shine Lawyers Special Counsel Caitlin Wilson here: