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Date posted: 1 May 2012
The Federal Government has announced the creation of a National Children's Commissioner within the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said that the new Commissioner will focus on promoting the rights, wellbeing and development of children and young people in Australia.
'The Children's Commissioner will ensure the voices of children and young people are heard in the development of Commonwealth policies and programs,' Ms Roxon said.
The Children's Commissioner will take a broad advocacy role to promote public awareness of issues affecting children, conduct research and education programs, consult directly with children and representative organisations as well as monitor Commonwealth legislation, policies and programs that relate to children's rights, wellbeing and development.
A coalition of Australia's leading children and youth focused organisations has welcomed the Federal Government's announcement of the establishment of a National Children's Commissioner.
However, in an article published in The Australian this week, the Chairwoman of the Secretariat of National Aboriginal & Islander Child Care (SNAICC), Dawn Wallam, said that the government must go one crucial step further and create a national Deputy Children's Commissioner with a specific focus on Aboriginal children and young people.
She said that if it was not possible to create a separate Deputy Commissioner position, SNAICC would be keen to work with the government to ensure the national Children's Commissioner had a clear mandate, specific functions and adequate resources to engage on the issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Source: Attorney-General for Australia; The Australian