Tomorrow morning I am participating in the S.C.A.T (Stop Child Abuse Team) protest march. We are walking for awareness, to protect all Australian children, to support survivors of child abuse and to remember the children that the Families SA system failed, the children who have died.
The fact that in this modern age thousands of Australian children are still suffering abuse is nothing less than horrific. On August the fourth the royal commission into South Australia’s child protection system delivered its final report to the South Australian Government. Supreme Court Justice Margaret Nyland led a two year inquiry into the states treatment of young people in its care.
“Many children in state care have been abused and neglected not only by their families but by the system that was supposed to protect them. It is time for that to change,” Ms Nyland said in a statement on Friday.
“It is time for all of us to work together to give all our children the life they deserve.”
Ms Nyland said some of her recommendations to the government should be actioned quickly to protect kids at risk of harm, while others would require longer-term planning.
Junction Australia chief executive Graham Brown said whatever the findings of the commission, the whole child protection sector must embrace change.
“It is not realistic to expect the state government to fix everything. We will all have to work together as a sector to fix the problems and get the system right,” the leader of the Adelaide-based child services provider said.
“We owe that much to the most vulnerable members of our community who rely on us, our children.” much to the most vulnerable members of our community who rely on us, our children.”
There have been calls for SA premier Jay Wetherill to resign and many Families SA workers have been sacked. The government must be held accountable.
So tomorrow we march to the steps of Parliament House to show the survivors of abuse that we do in fact care and to let our government know that we will not stand by and allow Australian children’s lives to be lost.
On the 2nd January 2015 Adelaide, South Australia sweltered in the 44 degree heat (111.4 °F). Here in Adelaide we joke about the fact that we are living in the driest capital in the driest state in the driest country in the driest continent of the world. On the 2nd January it was no laughing matter.
I was lounging around a mates place when a post on Facebook asking for available horse floats to help evacuate alerted me. I live in the Adelaide hills so we decided to tune into the scanner and have a listen. With growing horror we listened to a CFS (country fire service) in action. On the 3rd of January the bushfire was declared a National emergency. Over 3000 fireman and 29 fire planes battled the blaze until finally on the 8th January it was brought under control.The fire blazed for 9 days, destroying 49000 acres(20000 ht) 27 houses, 900 livestock, 140 sheds and numerous cars, machinery and thousands of native animals.
Imagine for a moment a bushfire is heading your way, your wife, kids & the dog jump in the car and head down to safety, you decide to stay and try to protect your house, your horses and your cattle. After what is described as a your worst nightmare the fire has passed. Your house is safe but you have lost your sheds, your fodder store, your fences, cars and machinery. You had to let the horses go praying that they will run faster than the flames. About 100 cattle .have perished but 75 survived. There is no electricity, no phone coverage, no water. The police have put up road blocks so you can’t get out and no one can get in. You don’t know if your wife and kids have made it out safely and you can’t tell them that you are alive. You would love a glass of water and to wash the soot of your face.
Now imagine that this goes on for days
Even now, six months later, it brings a tear to my eye.
I took my dog for a walk last night. A huge white full moon hung in the sky. Fleetingly glimpsed from behind dark clouds. Moonlight reflecting off the ghost gums lighting our way. It was so cold. My breath gave my photos a ghostly appeal