National Commissioner to turn the tide on closing the gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

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14 FEB 2024

VACCA welcomes the Federal Government’s commitment to establish a National Commissioner for Children and Families, announced in Parliament yesterday as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese delivered the 2023 Closing the Gap Annual Report and 2024 Implementation Plan. 

“Victoria is lucky, while not in legislation, we have a dedicated Aboriginal Commissioner for children. This announcement means that all children regardless of where they live will have a dedicated National Commissioner who will fight for and protect the rights and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children,” said VACCA CEO Muriel Bamblett.  

“Today’s commitment confirms the importance of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, listening to Aboriginal voice and privileging culture. Progress on Closing the gap has been slow, but there are many positives like this that should be applauded. Every step towards strengthening Aboriginal families and keeping our children safe is important, we can’t stop now. Too much is at stake.” 

VACCA has been the peak voice for Aboriginal children in Victoria for over 47 years so we know the challenges and successes this role will bring. The National Commissioner will advocate on behalf of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, to ensure their rights and best interests are centered in decision making about them and work to keep Government at all levels accountable. 

“We have consistently said that the way forward is through Aboriginal led evidence-based changes to policies, legislation and systems. Victoria is leading the way in transferring Aboriginal decision making for children to Aboriginal hands. This is meaningful reform, and we look forward to more actions across all Close the Gap targets across Australia,” said Ms Bamblett. 

The new Commissioner will play a significant role in reducing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children and young people in out of home care as they address key Closing the Gap targets. 

“Our children deserve nothing less than this – a strong commitment to changing current systems in order to uphold their rights, and to protect their safety,” said Ms Bamblett. 


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Beth Cesarin – Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs 

T: 0439 117 408 / E: 

Sarah Gafforini – Director, Office of the CEO VACCA  
T: 0427 621 421 / E: 


The Victorian Aboriginal Child and Community Agency (VACCA) is the Victoria’s Peak Voice for Aboriginal Aborigianl children and the leading provider of Aboriginal child and family services and the largest provider of services for Aboriginal family violence and homelessness. We have been supporting children, young people and families in the community for over 47 years, as an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO). 

Through our vision of self-determination – Live, Experience, and Be – we exist to support culturally strong, safe and thriving Aboriginal communities. We deliver over 80 programs across Victoria including child and family services, family violence, support for stolen generations, child protection, cultural strengthening programs, mental health, financial services, justice and redress support, early years and homelessness services. 


We acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which we work. We pay our respects to their elders, past and present, and to their children and young people who are the future elders and caretakers of this great land. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material. To listen to our Acknowledgement of Country, click here.