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The Guiding Principles

The Guiding Principles for strengthening participation of Aboriginal community in child protection decision making

The Guiding Principles Yarning Circle (GPYC)

Under the Guiding Principles the state-wide advisory group will:

  • oversee the implementation of the Guiding Principles
  • provide an implementation plan for submission to the Family and Community Services (FACS) Executive Board to consider
  • ensure that the Guiding Principles operate within the boundaries of relevant legislation and may comment on the effectiveness of legislation in achieving the best interests of Aboriginal children and improve processes to ensure effectiveness
  • determine methods of effective monitoring and evaluation of the Guiding Principles
  • produce an annual statement to report on their activities and outcomes
  • maintain confidentiality regarding matters discussed at meetings
  • provide advice and information to the relevant FACS District Director to inform the work of Local Area Government (LAGs).

The Guiding Principles Yarning Circle (GPYC) was formed as the state-wide advisory group under the guiding principles.


Membership include representatives from:

  • Grandmothers Against Removal (GMAR) NSW
  • The Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat (NSW) (AbSec)
  • the NSW Ombudsman
  • Aboriginal Legal Service
  • Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre
  • FACS Executive and project staff.

Meetings were held monthly in 2016 and bi-monthly in 2017. GPYC meetings are held across the state and have included Coonabarabran, Moree, Dubbo, Ballina, Kempsey and Sydney.

The previous Minster, Brad Hazzard, current Minister Pru Goward, and current FACS Secretary, Michael Coutts-Trotter have attended GPYC meetings.


Outcomes and initiatives from the GPYC include:

  • monitoring implementation of the Guiding Principles including development of a Dashboard to present data on Aboriginal children and young people
  • promoting the Guiding Principles across the state
  • raising the FACS delegation for key decisions related to Aboriginal children and young people
  • further communication around the role of advocates and support people, and FACS complaints process, including accountability for resolving issues and complaints
  • support of the local community to establish LAGs by holding LAG Development Workshops.

For further information, please see communiques from each of the meetings.

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Last updated: 24 Sep 2019