Members of forced adoptions working group announced
A new panel of 12 experts will provide key advice to Government on services and projects to improve support for people who have been affected by forced adoption practices.
Minister for Community Services Julie Collins today announced the membership of the Forced Adoptions Implementation Working Group.
“We want to deliver the best possible support for those impacted by forced adoption practices and have selected 12 outstanding Australians for the working group,” Ms Collins said.
“Each member has considerable expertise and experience in this area and many have personal experience of adoption practices, either as mothers, fathers or adoptees.
“The Implementation Working Group, to be chaired by Professor Nahum Mushin, will help us deliver on our commitment to provide support for Australians impacted by forced adoption practices.”
The establishment of the Forced Adoptions Implementation Working Group follows the National Apology for Forced Adoptions on 21 March 2013 and an expression of interest process announced by the Australian Government on 16 May 2013.
The Government’s response to the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry Report into Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices formed part of the national apology and included the establishment of a working group for mothers, fathers, adult adoptees and others who have been affected to provide advice to Government.
The Government has also invested $11.5 million over the next four years in a number of related initiatives:
- $5 million to improve access to specialist support services, peer and professional counselling and support records tracing for those affected by forced adoptions
- $5 million to immediately increase access to psychological services and develop guidelines and training materials to increase awareness of the issues relating to forced adoptions among health professionals
- $1.5 million to develop a website and exhibition by the National Archives of Australia to record the experiences of those affected by forced adoption and increase awareness and understanding of these experiences in the community.
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A full list of members and their credentials are below:
- Angela Barra, Queensland adoptee and member of Origins Supporting People Separated by Adoption and Post Adoption Support Queensland.
- Sue Boyce, Senator for QLD, was a member of the Forced Adoptions Apology Reference Group.
- Elizabeth Brew, NSW mother actively involved in the NSW apology and Commonwealth Senate Inquiry, was also a member of the Forced Adoptions Apology Reference Group
- Christine Cole, NSW mother, coordinator of the Apology Alliance, was a member of the Forced Adoptions Apology Reference Group.
- Gary Coles, Victorian Father, member of the Victorian Adoption Network for Information and Self Help, was a member of the Forced Adoptions Apology Reference Group.
- Thomas Graham, ACT adoptee, editor of the Australian Journal of Adoption, a free online resource, also runs an ACT-based support group.
- Leigh Hubbard, Victorian adoptee, chairperson of the Victorian Adoption Network for Information and Self Help, was a member of the Forced Adoption Apology Reference Group.
- Sue MacDonald, Western Australian mother with extensive experience working alongside other forced adoption stakeholders.
- Claire Moore, Senator for QLD, was a member of the Forced Adoptions Apology Reference Group.
- Kathryn Rendell, Queensland mother, member of the National Council for Single Mothers and Their Children, was a member of the Forced Adoptions Apology Reference Group.
- Evelyn Robinson, South Australian mother who provides training to professions through Post Adoption Support Services.
- Rachel Siewert, Senator for WA, was a member of the Forced Adoptions Apology Reference Group.