After more than three years on the frontline of child welfare and protection Fred – not his real name – is leaving town. He's taking with him corporate knowledge, which he says has been dwindled worryingly, about matters that are uppermost in the public's mind.
He says he isn't bitter nor angry, rather feels privileged to have developed relationships with a part of the population that is raising profound concerns, both as victims of abuse and neglect, and perpetrators of crime: some four fifths of Fred's clients were Aboriginal.
He spoke in person with editor ERWIN CHLANDA, for an hour and a half, but on the condition of not being named.
Some 200 Central Australian children bound up in the child welfare system are victims of policies that are arguably based on race politics and implemented often by inexperienced and overworked staff of the NT Department of Children and Families (DFC), according to sources with long and intimate connections with the system. Robyn Lambley, the Minister for Families & Children Services of the new NT government, says: "Our aim is to identify and support kinship carers on communities to care for Aboriginal children rather than bringing kids into town and placing them routinely with non-Aboriginal families." ERWIN CHLANDA reports.