With the nation's radar firmly on the problems facing Australia's Indigenous communities, the challenges faced in building strong Indigenous families will be tackled at an international conference at the University of Newcastle next week.
More than 400 people will attend the inaugural National Indigenous Family and Community Strengths Conference to be hosted by the University of Newcastle's Family Action Centre and the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care Incorporated (SNAICC)
The Director of the Family Action Centre, Ms Judi Geggie, said following the Northern Territory intervention and the current Prime Minister's public apology, the country was standing at a historical crossroad.
"Never before has the discussion on how to build on the strengths of Indigenous families been so public or so urgent. This conference will bring to light the success stories emerging from Indigenous communities in Australia, New Zealand and Canada."
Speakers include Mr Chris Sarra from the Indigenous Education Leadership Institute in Queensland and Mr Michael Yellow Bird from the University of Kansas in the United States. The Indigenous conference will be a prelude to the University's fifth Australian Family and Community Strengths Conference.
"The University of Newcastle is a recognised leader in the field of family research and has attracted a number of high profile speakers to present at the conference on the changing ways in which people are engaging with their communities.
"Speakers include Mr Tim Costello from World Vision Australia, Ms Lois Smidt from Beyond Welfare in the United States, and Professor Terry Lovat from the University of Newcastle," Ms Geggie said.
The first National Indigenous Family and Community Strengths Conference will run from Monday 14 to Wednesday 16 April 2008.
The fifth Australian Family and Community Strengths Conference will run from Wednesday 16 to Friday 18 April 2008.
Both conferences will be held at the Newcastle campus (Callaghan). For more information visit: www.newcastle.edu.au/centre/fac/
To organise interviews with keynote speakers, contact Ms Camilla McQualter in the Family Action Centre.