Media Release by The Hon Dr David Gillespie MP

Donna Ah Chee appointed Chair of Tripartite Forum

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Dale Wakefield MLA, Minister for Territory Families

A further step towards implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory has been taken with the appointment of Alice Springs based Ms Donna Ah Chee as the Chairperson of the newly established Child and Family Tripartite Forum.

The Tripartite Forum is a key recommendation of the Royal Commission.  It brings together Northern Territory and Federal governments, Aboriginal peak bodies and other non-government peak bodies to provide advice and to guide and support implementation of the reforms resulting from the Royal Commission.

The reforms being overseen by the Tripartite Forum will include child protection and youth justice systems, but also a range of related services required for vulnerable children and young people including health care, housing, education, family support, youth services, training and employment, police and justice services.  

Northern Territory Minister for Territory Families, Dale Wakefield MLA and Federal Assistant Minister for Children and Families, Dr David Gillespie welcomed Ms Ah Chee’s appointment given her wealth of experience in other Chair roles and her strong track record of achievement as CEO of Central Australian Aboriginal Congress.

“The NT Government is investing an historic $229.6 million over the next five years to continue the overhaul of the child protection and youth justice systems, and implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.

“As a highly respected Aboriginal woman with a long career in the human services sector, Donna Ah Chee is a great choice for Chair. She will bring to this role both an unswerving commitment to putting the interests of children and families first, and a culturally informed perspective on the implementation of reforms.

“Supporting children and their families, and ensuring safer communities, are at the heart of the Territory Labor Government’s top priorities.”

Minister Gillespie said he looked forward to working with Ms Ah Chee, the Northern Territory Government and the community sector to enact greater protections for children.

“Ms Ah Chee will be key to reforms in child protection in the Northern Territory.”

“To achieve meaningful change, reforms will need continuing collaborative effort and long-term commitment across government agencies, non-government organisations, Aboriginal controlled organisations and the broader community.

“Ms Ah Chee will be a key asset in guiding the work of the Forum in providing clear, evidence-based advice to both governments about implementation of the reform agenda in the Northern Territory.”

The first meeting will be an opportunity to establish strong foundations for the future work of the Forum and will be held within the next month.