British social workers for Australian Aboriginal communities?

Michael Anderson

Sydney, 28 May 09 - - British social workers are being recruited to work in Aboriginal communities because Australian women would not agree to take children away from their families, a NSW Aboriginal heritage conference in Sydney has heard.

Because the federal government stipulated that women to be sent into the communities had to be ready to remove children from troubled families, it couldn’t get enough Aboriginal or white Australian applicants for the jobs, Aboriginal leader, Michael Anderson told me from the conference venue.

“Families would have to go to court to get their children back,” the leader of the Euahlayi of northwest NSW and southwest Queensland points out.


“How can anyone freshly recruited from the UK have the skills to deal with the cultural complexities of Aboriginal communities?” he asks angrily.


“This is another aspect of the Rudd government’s genocide. It is the second phase of removing children in the guise of protecting them – the same as in the 1930s.”


The Elders assembled at the conference appeal to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians “not to believe the rhetoric that this is in the children’s interest”.


“That is a line the Rudd government can no longer use,” Mr Anderson says. “We have to stop this happening at all cost.”


He points out that it will cost taxpayers massive amounts of money to resettle the British social workers in this country to do jobs their Australian colleagues refused because of the child removal issue.


“Removing children from one ethnic group to assimilate them in another group is a crime against humanity,” Mr Anderson says.


“Our children are our greatest asset. They’re our real heritage. Talk to us, let’s work out solutions together. Don’t take our children away from us.”


Mr Anderson is the last remaining of the four 1972 founders of the Aboriginal Embassy. The 16 clans of the Gumilaroi nation have elected him their spokesman.


Contact Michael Anderson on mobile 0427 292 492, email