Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hon. Desley Scott's questions to Hon. Tracy Davis on behalf of ALAS

Mrs SCOTT: Minister, following the Queensland apology to forced adoption mothers in November 2012, ALAS wrote to you requesting you address unfinished business for these women. Minister, can you tell the committee what issues ALAS raised with you? I seek leave to table a copy of the letter from ALAS which outlines the issues. That may assist in refreshing your memory. Minister, what progress, if any, has been made on addressing the issues outlined in the letter?

Ms DAVIS: Could I just ask for the reference to the SDS? Sorry, I missed that in the question.

Mrs SCOTT: SDS page 7, sorry.

CHAIR: I am seeking the leave of the committee for the letter to be tabled. Leave is granted.

Ms DAVIS: I thank the member for the question. It was a really historic day, the day the apology was delivered to those men and women who were challenged with those issues around forced adoption. I had the very great opportunity to meet many of those stakeholders, as I know you did, prior to the apology that was delivered by the Premier. It was a great privilege to be able to speak to that motion in the House.

Having understood from my conversations with these very brave women about the challenges that they had faced over a lifetime in not having had the opportunity to raise their child because they had not been provided with the options that are afforded to parents now if they are in fact considering adoption, I think I would ask that the member understand that I have had some private meetings, as have my staff, with ALAS. We are still working our way through those things. We know that there are a number of issues that they have raised that are of importance to them. We will continue to have dialogue with ALAS. They know that my office door is open for those conversations. We very much hope that we can work in a very collegial way to get some results that they are comfortable with.

Mrs SCOTT: So, Minister, you would foresee that you can actually bring some or all of these issues to finality for them?

Ms DAVIS: As I said, we are working through those. This is not an appropriate forum to identify those but, as I have said, the ladies particularly from ALAS know that the door is open. I know that there have been some conversations recently with my staff about some of those issues and what we might be able to achieve. So that is quite encouraging. 24 Jul 2013 Estimates—Community Services, Child Safety and Disability Services (Proof) 87

Recently I wrote to the Speaker about a permanent memorial. I know that is of very great interest to those affected by the practices of past forced adoptions. If I could just ask that those conversations continue, these are issues very close to the hearts of these ladies and it is appropriate that they are dealt with in a very compassionate manner.

Queensland Parliament Hansard 24/7/2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

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.
For more information, email
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

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Meeting 13th July 2013

Our next meeting will be at;
 Four Mile Creek Hotel,
Strathpine ( Opp Westfield.)
Starting time 11 45am.
Please Phone Trish; 0417 077 159.
All welcome.