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The commission is this week hearing how child protection policies and procedures fail First Nations people (Supplied)

Victoria’s Yoorrook Justice Commission has called for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised from 10 to at least 14, to help stop vulnerable Indigenous children getting “lost in the pipeline” of child protection and criminal justice systems. Source: The Age.

The Standing Council of Attorneys-General – a group of attorneys-general from federal, state and territory governments that focuses on best practices in law reform – will review the age of criminal responsibility when it meets later this week.

Counsel assisting the commission, Fiona McLeod, SC, urged the council to consider First Nations people, “the many, many reports into this issue” and the testimonies that would be heard at the commission’s public hearings this week.

Ms McLeod said the number of First Nations children in out-of-home care in Victoria was “heading in the wrong direction” and contributing to a high incarceration rate among First Nations people.

Indigenous children in Victoria are being removed from their families and put into out-of-home care – under the care of the government – at the highest rate in the country. Fifty-six per cent of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care in Victoria are placed with non-Aboriginal carers. More than 50 per cent are separated from their siblings.

At the swearing-in of his new ministry yesterday, Premier Daniel Andrews said Victoria was taking too many First Nations children away from their families.

This week, the commission is hearing how child protection policies and procedures fail First Nations people and why recommendations aimed at addressing Indigenous over-representation in the child protection system have not been roundly implemented.


Call to raise age of criminal responsibility and stop ‘pipeline of shattered Indigenous children’ (By Jack Latimore, The Age)