In Victoria a bill aimed at reducing the number of Indigenous children entering care has passed parliament.
The latest figures show one in nine Aboriginal babies in Victoria are taken from their parents by the state – more than double the national average.
One in ten Aboriginal children are in care and one in three are known to child protection services.
The Australian-first bill would allow organisations such as the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency to investigate child protection cases and connect families with support before a court order is made.
It also includes recognition acknowledging the past wrongs and mistreatments of Aboriginal people by governments, and will require judges, child protection workers and the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing to consider this when dealing with cases.
The bill was passed with support from both sides of government with only One Nation’s Rikkie-Lee Tyrell speaking in opposition.
Victoria’s Child Protection minister Lizzie Blandthorn said the measures will make a “real difference” to the lives of Aboriginal families in Victoria.
The state’s child protection system is currently being examined by the Yoorook Justice Commission with a report due to be handed down in August.