Queensland Child Protection Week commends child-safe organisations

Tammy Wallace accepts her award at parliament house ‘Addressing overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in the child protection system’ presented by Dr Chris Sarra, Director-General, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

Churches of Christ in Queensland’s Strategic Manager for the Children, Youth and Families service, Tammy Wallace was among 11 winners announced at this year’s Queensland Child Protection Week Awards at Parliament House.

Tammy Wallace was recognised for her outstanding contribution addressing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, children and young people.



“Tammy has made a significant difference in improving safety and resilience of children through strengthening positive connection to culture and community,” Leanne Rutherford, General Manager Children, Youth and Families said. 

For the past 25 years, Tammy has worked closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities, partnering to develop and implement various policies, programs and services.

“I am very honoured to work with an amazing team, and of course the many children and young people across Queensland,” Tammy said.

As a proud Jirrabal woman, Tammy draws from her strong cultural ties to the Rainforest People of the Atherton Tablelands, and as an emerging elder in her family to inspire her work in the child protection sector.

In 2017, Tammy championed the establishment of the Indigenous Advisory Committee, Gili Burra, to influence the organisation’s work to achieve better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities.
 
Tammy’s achievements extend to developing a state-wide engagement strategy and championed a Cultural Practice Framework to strengthen the cultural connection of children, young people, families, carers and staff.

“The Cultural Practice Framework is for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people to be strong in culture and be connected to family, community and country.

“It is for them to have access to competent and capable care services where they feel safe, engaged, respected, valued and supported to achieve the best possible outcomes through culture and healing,” Tammy said.

The framework has three key goals:
  1. To reduce the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children and young people in care.
  2. To improve cultural connections for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children and young people.
  3. To improve culture and strength-based practise across all of our Children, Youth and Families services.
“Our goal is to rebuild connection, that culture is central to all that we do, and we empower children and young people to be connected to family and community, and heal on their journey home to country and culture.”

Accepting the award, Tammy said “I would like to thank and pay my respects to my family and clan, my husband and my beautiful children who keep me on my toes and remind me how important culture is to them as I watch them thrive in culture and with family.

“I would also like to thank and acknowledge my hardworking and committed colleagues who day in and day out bring their best for children, young people and families we work with.  Working with you all is an honour and a privilege.

“To the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children and young people we work with, not a day goes by where I don’t learn from you. My hopes and aspirations for you is that you go strong in culture because you belong there. You are never alone on this land or water where your ancestors walked before you, they are beside you, the journey you take is yours, the footprints you leave are your path, and let culture and God guide you along your way.”

Churches of Christ in Queensland is committed to ensuring that all children are safe, happy and empowered.

This year’s Child Protection Week (6 – 12 September) is an annual initiative funded by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services that raises the profile of the issues connected with child protection.

Our Children’s Youth and Family Service offer a broad range of services to children, young people and families throughout Queensland. Services include early childhood care, family support, out of home care and transition to independence programs, with support provided based on the individual needs of children, young people, families and communities.
  Posted 14 September, 2020 in News