The Human Rights Arts and Film Festival will open with the ground-breaking documentary After the Apology, which explores the skyrocketing rates of Aboriginal child removal today.
The film follows the story of four grandmothers challenging government policies to bring their grandkids home. Their grassroots actions spearhead a national conversation to curb the skyrocketing rates of child removal.
The film brings to life statistics on Aboriginal child removal today. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are significantly over-represented in the out of home care system. They are only 5.5 per cent of all Australian children, yet comprise over 35 per cent of the children in care.
After the Apology also reveals that Indigenous children are ten times more likely to be placed in out of home care than non-Indigenous children and that 69.8% of Aboriginal children in out of home care are placed away from their Aboriginal families.
The film has been directed by Larissa Behrendt. Behrendt is an Aboriginal (Eualeyai/Gammilaroi) filmmaker, novelist, lawyer and academic. She is a Professor of Indigenous Research and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology Sydney.
“I come to this subject matter with a very personal passion for it. My grandmother was a stolen generations woman and my father grew up in an orphanage” said Berendt. “Like many Aboriginal people, I was touched by Kevin Rudd’s apology speech and believed it would be a turning point on how child welfare matters were dealt with. It is shocking to me that the number of Aboriginal children being removed today by welfare agencies is higher than during the time of the Stolen Generations.”
The Human Rights Arts & Film Festival (HRAFF) opens with After the Apology in Melbourne on Thursday May 3. This screening will be followed by a post film Q&A with Director Larissa Behrendt and Producer Kiki Dillon and an After-Party at ACMI’s Lightwell. This will be followed by a screening in Canberra on May 29.
The Human Rights Arts and Film Festival aims to make human rights relevant, accessible and engaging to Australians through film, art, music and forums. HRAFF attracts a diverse audience of 15,000 – 20,000 people each year, many who would not normally engage in human rights. The festival has become one of the leading and largest public human rights events, telling meaningful stories that help create a different world.
You can find out more about HRAFF here.