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Visionaries: The Department of Justice contracted Inception Strategies to develop a Children’s Court Family Division cultural comic and poster.

Workshops: The workshops to develop the script were held with Aboriginal people and court officials in Melbourne.

Production: Damian:

Workshops, Script, Creative Supervision

Kelly and Mengling:

Project Manager


Workshop Notes




Pencils and Inks

Mark and Ifan:




Mengling, Diane, Jax, Kelly, Rachel:


Erik, Elsie, Orlando, Liz, Rachel:




Thanks: Uncle John Gorrie, Children’s Court of Victoria, Department of Justice, Office of Aboriginal Affairs, Department of Human Services, Koorie Heritage Trust, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency and the Courts Portfolio Innovation Program.

We hope this comic assists Aboriginal parents to better understand the court processes that are designed to protect Aboriginal children and families. Damian Amamoo, CEO, Inception Strategies

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Terms used in the Family Division of the Children’s Court Aboriginal Child Placement Principle - The Aboriginal Child Placement Principle defines the process of ensuring that Aboriginal community representatives are consulted and involved in the decision making regarding the care arrangements for Aboriginal children and young people. Specific attention is paid to Aboriginal children and young people who are separated or removed from their biological family. ACSASS - Aboriginal Child Specialist Advice Support Service. Contest - a court hearing in which the parties disagree. Witnesses will be called to assist the Magistrate in making a decision about what should happen in the case. Custody - to have daily care and control of a child and responsibility for making decisions about the daily care and control of that child. Department of Human Services (DHS) - the Victorian government department responsible, among other things, for Child Protection. Dispute Resolution Conference/ New Model Conference - a mediation to assist in resolving the issues. Interim Accommodation Order (IAO) - a Children’s Court order made which states where/with whom a child will live in the short term. This may be with a parent, family member or in out of home care; the order may have conditions attached. Lakidjeka ACSASS - this ACSASS program sits within the Victorian Aboriginal Childcare Agency. The program works with DHS to provide an Aboriginal perspective on risk and decision making about the safety and well-being of Aboriginal children. There are two ACSASS programs, one known as Lakidjeka which is state wide and one at Mildura Aboriginal Corporation (MAC). Mention - is a type of court hearing. Witnesses are generally not called. Each party is given an opportunity to say what they think should happen in the case. If the parties are not in complete agreement, the case is then adjourned for mediation or contest. Protection Application - an application made to the Children’s Court when DHS think that a child is in need of protection from (actual or likely) abuse or neglect. Protection Order - a type of court order the Children’s Court may make on finding that a child is in need of protection. Interim Protection Order - A temporary order of up to three months’ duration which the Children’s Court may make upon finding a child to be in need of protection. Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA), the agency that works to promote the importance of children and young people’s connection/reconnection to their family and community. For more information, please go to

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We would like to thank the following talented people for their assistance in developing the storyline: Uncle John Gorrie, Terrie Stewart, Judge Paul Grant, Nathan Fenelon, Anne-Maree Kirkman, Susanne Cleary and Janet Matthew. saving grace.indd 28

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Saving Grace  

Aboriginal Courts Awareness Comic

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