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Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia /showurl.php?url=3145

Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia - 1. Weaving a common narrative: An introduction to essays on families, policy and the law in Australia
www.aifs.gov.au www.aifs.gov.au
There are few areas of policy that carry greater complexity than those that focus on families. The dynamics of family formation are, and have always been, intricately connected with the evolving conditions of societies and the constraints and values they embrace at any given era. Some things, however, are perennial. The functions families fulfil have remained essentially unchanged despite the shifts in the circumstances and challenges that families confront. Not surprisingly, the ways in which policy-makers seek to address the needs of families also evolve and, in turn, influence the changing social context.
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Political Arena: Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia


Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia - 2. Trends in family transitions, forms and functioning: Essential issues for policy development and legislation
www.aifs.gov.au www.aifs.gov.au
This chapter focuses on various ways in which family formation pathways and the characteristics and functioning of families have changed over the decades. The picture is largely one of increasing diversity, with important implications for policies and legislation designed to protect the wellbeing of all families - the bedrock of society.
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Political Arena: Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia


Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia - 3. Ancestry, identity and meaning: The importance of biological ties in contemporary society
www.aifs.gov.au www.aifs.gov.au
Biological ties are important to people; there is no doubting that. But exactly why they are important is increasingly relevant at a time when so much about the family exists in flux - the shapes of families are shifting, as are the technologies used to assist in creating them. Beneath many of the current debates over family structure or assisted reproductive technologies (e.g., those concerned with adoption, surrogacy, donor insemination, and gay- and lesbian-parented families) lay some fundamental moral questions. Is it important to know one's biological parents? Are biological parent-child relationships different, in any important moral sense, to non-biological parent-child relationships? What value should be attributed to biological ties?
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Political Arena: Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia


Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia - 4. Past adoption practices: Key messages for service delivery responses and current policies
www.aifs.gov.au www.aifs.gov.au
This chapter draws from the findings of the report Past Adoption Experiences: The National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices, released by the Australian Institute of Family Studies in August 2012 (Kenny, Higgins, Soloff, & Sweid , 2012). Here we examine the nature of identity and connection through the lens of the study participants' lived experiences of past adoptions, and the subsequent effects on the formation of "self" within these constructs, including barriers and enablers. We then explore the influence of these experiences on the participants' views about family formation and composition as they relate to the current climate of adoption, donor conception and surrogacy, as well as permanent care arrangements in the child protection system.

This chapter provides an opportunity to reflect the voices of those who took part in the research, particularly of those who were adopted as children, and what they saw as being integral to current policy discussions in these domains, as they view themselves as the living results of a past "social experiment".
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Political Arena: Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia


Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia - 5. The forced adoption apology: Righting wrongs of a dark past
www.aifs.gov.au www.aifs.gov.au
In normal discourse between people, if one person wrongs another it is appropriate to offer an apology. Likewise, when a nation wrongs some or all of its people or those of another nation, it is appropriate to offer an apology. Australia has offered three apologies to its people in recent times. The first of those was to its Indigenous people, the Stolen Generations, for the wrongful removal of approximately 100,000 Indigenous children from their parents over many decades until the 1960s. The second apology was to the Forgotten Australians - approximately 500,000 children, including migrants, who grew up in institutionalised care.

The most recent offer of a national apology was to people affected by forced adoption. This essay outlines the process leading to the apology, elements of drafting of the document itself and issues that needed to be considered. The essential aspect of any public apology - the concrete measures - are examined and some ongoing questions are addressed. Finally, the question is asked: Where to from here?
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Political Arena: Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia


Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia - 6. Current open adoptions: Mothers' perspectives
www.aifs.gov.au www.aifs.gov.au
This chapter summarises a qualitative study that investigated mothers' experiences of mandated contact in adoption, which was introduced in the state of Victoria in 1984.1 Mandated contact was conceived with the aim of being in the best interests of the child. The study explored the relationship between the right to have contact and the experience of contact itself for the mother. Specifically, the chapter describes the contact arrangements, the contact event, the mother's mental health, information exchange vs face-to-face contact, and the role of the adoptive parents and the County Court of Victoria.
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Political Arena: Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia


 Australia

Adopt, but don't turn Ming into a Kylie
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
The NSW adoption act prohibits a court from approving a change in a child's given name if the child is more than one year old, or a non-citizen, "unless there are special reasons, related to the best interests of the child".
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Political Arena: Australia, Names


"Bringing them Home" (Reconciliation and Social Justice Library)
www.austlii.edu.au www.austlii.edu.au
Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families
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Political Arena: Australia, Stolen Generations


Q: So what is the difference between white or black? - A: A Vast Difference
bathurst.yourguide.com.au bathurst.yourguide.com.au
Answers on the Stolen Generations
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Political Arena: Australia, Stolen Generations


All families deserve a fair system - by Natasha Stott Despoja
www.news.com.au www.news.com.au
Political Arena: Adoption Equality, Age Criteria and Cost, Australia


Gay and lesbian adoption next target for US religious right
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
Conservative activists are pushing for adoption by gays and lesbians to be prohibited, having been buoyed by recent success in securing bans on same-sex marriages and restrictions on abortion rights.
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Political Arena: Adoption Equality, Age Criteria and Cost, Australia, Gay/Lesbian, Religion, USA


Stop adoption bias, urge MPs
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
Political Arena: Adoption Equality, Age Criteria and Cost, Australia


Parents call for cut in adoption costs (ABC)
www.abc.net.au www.abc.net.au
Political Arena: Adoption Equality, Age Criteria and Cost, Australia


High cost makes overseas adoption province of the rich
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
"Infertility doesn't only occur in wealthy families." - Cathi and David Pirani sold their house in the Blue Mountains and moved to Bathurst in order to have enough money to adopt a child from Colombia.
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Political Arena: Adoption Equality, Age Criteria and Cost, Australia


NSW criticised over increasing adoption fees (ABC)
www.abc.net.au www.abc.net.au
Political Arena: Adoption Equality, Age Criteria and Cost, Australia


NSW Govt defends adoption costs (ABC)
www.abc.net.au www.abc.net.au
Political Arena: Adoption Equality, Age Criteria and Cost, Australia


Access to the Baby Bonus for Adoptive Parents
www.ag.gov.au www.ag.gov.au
As part of the 2008-09 Budget, the Rudd Government announced that eligibility for the baby bonus will be extended to families who adopt children under 16 years of age.
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Political Arena: Australia


Adopted Children To Win Identity Rights  
www.aican.org www.aican.org
NSW parents whose legal adoptions are finalised overseas will be able to obtain NSW birth certificates for their children under new laws to be introduced to State Parliament.
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Political Arena: Australia, New South Wales


Adoption: A light on the horizon
sunday.ninemsn.com.au sunday.ninemsn.com.au
Political Arena: Australia, Inquiry into Adoption of Children from Overseas


Bid to help the other stolen generation
www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au
"From the age of five I was forced to work in charcoal pits and was subjected to physical and emotional abuse. The scars will never heal."
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Political Arena: Australia


Current intercountry adoption programs
www.ag.gov.au www.ag.gov.au
Open programs are those currently accepting applications. Suspended programs are not currently accepting applications but may re-open in the future. The Australian Attorney-General’s Department makes every effort to update this information as regularly as possible. Please contact your State and Territory Central Authority for current information about all intercountry adoption programs. Intercountry adoption support organisations are also a valuable resource in each State and Territory and can provide program-specific information and support.
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Political Arena: Australia


Family Assistance - Paid Parental Leave scheme
www.familyassist.gov.au www.familyassist.gov.au
Taking time away from work for a new baby is a common part of working life. The Paid Parental Leave scheme will help parents spend more time at home with a new baby, and help employers keep skilled and valuable staff.
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Political Arena: Australia


Information on Intercountry Adoption
www.ag.gov.au www.ag.gov.au
Federal Attorney-General's Department
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Political Arena: Australia


Information Regarding Adoption of Children in Indonesia by Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents
www.indonesia.embassy.gov.au www.indonesia.embassy.gov.au
This information is intended to assist Australian citizens or permanent residents who are considering adopting a child in Indonesia. In relation to Indonesian adoption law, this information sheet is intended as guidance only. The Australian Government does not aim to give definitive or binding advice on matters of Indonesian law. Law and policy regarding adoption in Indonesia is subject to change and while every effort is made to keep this information up to date, people considering adoption are encouraged to approach the The Social Ministry or KEMSOS for more detailed and current information. KEMSOS is the government authority that administers Indonesian law and policy in matters relating to adoption and custody of children.
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Political Arena: Australia, Indonesia


Inquiry into forced adoptions
www.greenleft.org.au www.greenleft.org.au
The federal senate has agreed to an inquiry into the practice of forcible adoption in Australia between the 1940s and ’80s, supporting a motion by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert on November 15.
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Political Arena: Australia


Intercountry adoption and children's rights
rightnow.org.au rightnow.org.au
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) sets international legal standards for the protection and wellbeing of children. As UNICEF recognised in their report A World Fit for Children, this convention has helped to accord political priority to children. However, ensuring that children’s human rights receive their fair share of attention and resources remains a political hurdle throughout the world. Intercountry adoption is one such example where political will to ensure children’s rights is lacking. Intercountry adoption is where a child is taken from the country they were born in to a different country to live. The child’s birth country is called the country of origin and the country the child is taken to reside with adoptive parents is called the receiving country. This article identifies what the CRC requires to secure the human rights of a child in the intercountry adoption process. The article then proceeds to identify some areas for law reform.
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Political Arena: Australia


Intercountry Adoption Harmonisation Working Group
www.ag.gov.au www.ag.gov.au
Clause 20 of the Commonwealth–State Agreement for the Continued Operation of Australia’s Intercountry Adoption Program provides for the establishment of an inter‑governmental working group to progress the greater harmonisation of intercountry adoption legislation, fees and administrative procedures, to achieve best practice and not to achieve uniformity as an end in itself. Greater harmonisation was recommended by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Human Services in its Overseas Adoption in Australia Report.

A Working Group has been established for this purpose, consisting of representatives from the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department and the relevant State and Territory authorities. The first meeting of the Group was held on 5 November 2008 in Canberra.
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Political Arena: Australia


Making overseas adoption easier for australian families
www.pm.gov.au www.pm.gov.au
Today I have committed the Commonwealth Government to delivering reform on overseas adoption. The issue of adoption is very important to many people in our community. Where there are children who legitimately need a safe and loving home, and where there are people who dream of being able to provide that home, we are committed to streamlining arrangements to enable them to come together. It is clear that change is needed in this area and that the issues deserve attention at the highest levels of government. The Commonwealth Government will work with premiers and chief ministers to try to ensure overseas adoption is working in the best way possible. Last week, the Council of Australian Government (COAG) agreed to put the subject of overseas adoption on the agenda for our next meeting in April 2014. I have asked my Department to establish and chair an interdepartmental committee on overseas adoption. The committee will consult extensively and report to me in March 2014 including on the immediate steps that could be taken to make inter-country adoption easier and faster for Australian couples. The committee’s report will help to inform discussion at the next COAG meeting in April 2014. I do not underestimate the complexity of the work to be undertaken in this area. I recognise the need to have a broad and inclusive discussion about proposed change to ensure that, as a community, we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. Still, there has been much discussion about streamlining arrangements for overseas adoption in recent years, but very little action. The Commonwealth Government is committed to working with our state and territory colleagues and stakeholders in this area, including the non-government sector, to ensure we deliver reform on this very important issue.
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Political Arena: Australia


National Adoption Awareness Week
www.adoptionawarenessweek.com.au www.adoptionawarenessweek.com.au
Start preparing for 6 - 13 November 2011
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Political Arena: Australia


Overseas Adoption in Australia Report
www.aph.gov.au www.aph.gov.au
Following the release of the 2003-2004 Annual Report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Human Services conducted an inquiry into the adoption of children from overseas. On 28 November 2005, the Committee’s Report, Overseas Adoption in Australia was released.

The Report included 27 recommendations designed to improve the system of intercountry adoption in Australia. The Government has already implemented many of these recommendations, including the creation of the Intercountry Adoption Branch of the Attorney-General's Department to manage Australia’s overseas adoption programs, the establishment of the National Intercountry Adoption Advisory Group (formerly National Peak Overseas Adoption Support Group) and the passing of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007, which provides another option for children whose adoption has been finalised under full and permanent Hague Convention arrangements to obtain Australian citizenship.

The Government is working to implement all of the remaining accepted recommendations, most of which are ongoing, to ensure the best outcomes for children in need of intercountry adoption and for Australian families.

Further information will be available in due course.
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Political Arena: Australia


Paid Parental Leave explained
www.startupsmart.com.au www.startupsmart.com.au
Employers of all sizes will have to contend with the Paid Parental Leave scheme. To help you deal with it the smart way, we’ve outlined the essential information your start-up needs to know.
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Political Arena: Australia


Recommendation 11 - Birth Certificates for Chinese Adoptees  
www.aican.org www.aican.org
Access to Birth Certificates for Adoptions Completed Overseas
Recommendation 11 - Report into Overseas Adoption (2005)
The Attorney-General approach the relevant ministers in the states and territories and request they amend their legislation for the registration of births so that adoptions completed overseas recognised by Australian law will be registered and lead to the issue of a birth certificate.
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Political Arena: Australia


Reform and action on intercountry adoption
www.pm.gov.au www.pm.gov.au

/showurl.php?url=3093 The Commonwealth Government is committed to adoption reform to enable more people to find families. A new report has identified significant barriers facing Australian families wanting to adopt from overseas. Inconsistent rules, costs and the lengthy wait to adopt currently deter many people from even starting the adoption process. Last Friday, COAG agreed to a national system for intercountry adoption. The Commonwealth will work vigorously with the States and Territories to have a new system operating by early 2015. The report into intercountry adoption also recommended establishing new country programmes to help more Australian families to adopt. A new intercountry adoption programme between Australia and South Africa is now in place. South Africa has a strong commitment to finding families within its borders to care for children in need. Where, for whatever reason, a South African family cannot be found, Australian families will be able to help provide permanent loving homes to South African children. Many of these children will have health needs, and would benefit from the caring environment that Australian families can provide. The Government will introduce amendments to the Australian Citizenship Act so that obtaining Australian citizenship can happen in a child’s country of origin. As well, we will fix the problems associated with the visa system. It is too complicated at the moment and processing times are too long. For too long children who legitimately need a safe and loving home and Australians who dream of providing this home have been hindered by red tape and confusion. The Government is pleased to be able to undertake real action to bring families together.
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Political Arena: Australia


Report on Intercountry Adoption  
www.dpmc.gov.au www.dpmc.gov.au

/showurl.php?url=3094 The Prime Minister announced on 19 December 2013, that he would establish an Interdepartmental Committee on Intercountry Adoption, to report to him in March 2014, with options for implementing reform within Australia over the next 12 months, to improve intercountry adoption. The Council of Australian Governments also agreed that Intercountry Adoption would be on the Council’s agenda for the first meeting in 2014. The Committee is chaired by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. It has senior representatives from the Attorney-General’s Department, the Department of Foreign Affairs and
Trade, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Department of Social Services.
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Political Arena: Australia


South Korea Program update – September 2011
www.ag.gov.au www.ag.gov.au
The Attorney-General's Department recently discussed several matters concerning the operation of the Australia-South Korea Program with Eastern Social Welfare Society. Eastern advised that the South Korean Government will continue to reduce the number of children approved for intercountry adoption by 10% each year, indicating lengthening wait times for prospective adoptive parents. Eastern also noted the South Korean Government's focus on promoting domestic adoption and that interest in domestic adoption in South Korea has increased.
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Political Arena: Australia


Talking to your employer about Paid Parental Leave
www.essentialbaby.com.au www.essentialbaby.com.au
If you are eligible for the Paid Parental Leave scheme, it is important that you discuss your leave intentions with your employer.
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Political Arena: Australia


The enemy within NSW child protection
www.cis.org.au www.cis.org.au
The NSW Minister for Community Services, Pru Goward, is under pressure for allegedly misleading statements about the number of child protection caseworkers in the state. The minister's office had said that 'more than 2000' caseworkers were employed by the Family and Community Services Department, when in fact, 300 fewer than budgeted (around 1,800) were employed. This followed reports that only a quarter of the children reported to be at significant risk of harm were seen by a caseworker to check on their welfare. Departmental workers took industrial action on Tuesday in protest. There is more to this than the standard public sector union attempt to boost membership numbers.
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Political Arena: Australia, New South Wales


Transcript of a speech to Parliament for the Labor Member for Sydney, and Shadow Minister for Work and Family, Tanya Plibersek.  
www.aican.org www.aican.org
She is the only one we've seen prepared to speak against the shameful comments of Jackie Kelly earlier in 2006.
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Political Arena: Australia


When mum is nana
www.theaustralian.news.com.au www.theaustralian.news.com.au
When kindergarten kids have more common sense than parliamentarians.
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Political Arena: Australia


 Commonwealth of Australia

Commonwealth of Australia: House of Representatives: Debate on Intercountry Adoption
www.aph.gov.au www.aph.gov.au
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Human Services resolved on 16 February 2005 to conduct an inquiry into the adoption of children from overseas after reviewing the 2003-2004 Annual Report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The committee determined its terms of reference, giving particular emphasis to identifying any inconsistencies between state and territory approval processes for overseas adoptions and any inconsistencies between the benefits and entitlements provided to families for birth children as distinct from adopted children.

There has been a massive decline in the number of adoptions in Australia in the last 35 years. In fact, the total number of local adoptions per annum has dropped from a peak in 1971-72 of over 9,000 to 73 in 2003-04. Intercountry adoption is now the dominant form of adoption in Australia. By 2003-04 intercountry adoptions represented some three quarters of total adoptions and run at 300-400 adoptions per year. By contrast, there are tens of thousands of children in foster care or other forms of out of home care. It is also significant that increasing numbers of children are being born as a result of Assisted Reproductive Technology, such as IVF (6,800 IVF live births in 2002).
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Political Arena: Commonwealth of Australia


Stronger Measures for the Protection of Children
www.immi.gov.au www.immi.gov.au
From 16 September 2009, sponsors of child visa applications and partner or prospective marriage applications which include a minor applicant will be required to provide a National Police Check as part of the process of assessing the application.
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Political Arena: Commonwealth of Australia


Stronger Measures for the Protection of Children  
www.immi.gov.au www.immi.gov.au
Questions and Answers
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Political Arena: Commonwealth of Australia


What's New in Intercountry Adoption
www.ag.gov.au www.ag.gov.au
This page aims to provide some information about current intercountry adoption issues.
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Political Arena: Commonwealth of Australia


 Immigration / Government

NSW Registry of Birth, Deaths & Marriages
www.bdm.nsw.gov.au www.bdm.nsw.gov.au
Political Arena: Immigration / Government, Names


NSW Registry of Birth, Deaths & Marriages - Change of Name
www.bdm.nsw.gov.au www.bdm.nsw.gov.au
Political Arena: Immigration / Government, Names


 New South Wales

Adopted Children To Win Identity Rights  
www.aican.org www.aican.org
NSW parents whose legal adoptions are finalised overseas will be able to obtain NSW birth certificates for their children under new laws to be introduced to State Parliament.
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Political Arena: Australia, New South Wales


Intercountry Adoption Program Update - May 2011  
www.aican.org www.aican.org
Changing nature of intercountry adoption and implications for families. As most families would know, overseas countries are working hard to better support families within their own country to keep their children or to place them with extended family. If this is not possible, most countries are also trying to establish or strengthen their foster care systems so children can remain in their country of origin. This has resulted in a decreasing need for intercountry adoption applications from other countries, including Australia.
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Political Arena: New South Wales


Praise for Tassie
www.starobserver.com.au www.starobserver.com.au
One of the things I learned during last year’s same-sex adoption debate in the NSW Parliament is the overwhelming effect that personal stories had on the opinions of our decision-makers. That is why it’s so important that we continue to write and meet with our local MPs and discuss why marriage equality is important to us and encourage our friends and family to do the same.
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Political Arena: New South Wales, Tasmania


The enemy within NSW child protection
www.cis.org.au www.cis.org.au
The NSW Minister for Community Services, Pru Goward, is under pressure for allegedly misleading statements about the number of child protection caseworkers in the state. The minister's office had said that 'more than 2000' caseworkers were employed by the Family and Community Services Department, when in fact, 300 fewer than budgeted (around 1,800) were employed. This followed reports that only a quarter of the children reported to be at significant risk of harm were seen by a caseworker to check on their welfare. Departmental workers took industrial action on Tuesday in protest. There is more to this than the standard public sector union attempt to boost membership numbers.
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Political Arena: Australia, New South Wales


 Queensland

Why is the Queensland Government apologising?
www.communities.qld.gov.au www.communities.qld.gov.au
The Queensland Government acknowledges the recommendation made on 29 February 2012 by the Australian Government Senate Committee Inquiry on the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices that a formal statement of apology be issued by the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to those people affected by forced adoptions.
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Political Arena: Queensland, Stolen Generations


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