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The Gordon Inquiry

Category: Event
Date: 31 July 2002
Sub Category:Report
Location:Western Australia, Australia
Alternative Names:
  • Putting the Picture Together: Inquiry into Response by Government Agencies to Complaints of Family Violence and Child Abuse in Aboriginal Communities
  • Subject Matter:Health and Community Services | Education | Housing, Construction and Infrastructure | Law - Policy and Justice
    URL: http://www.gordonresponse.dpc.wa.gov.au/index.cfm?fuseaction=background.introduction
    Summary Information:
    The Gordon Inquiry, headed by Magistrate Sue Gordon, reported on the responses by government agencies into complaints of family violence and child abuse in Aboriginal communities. It followed a Coroner's inquest into the death of Susan Taylor, a 15-year-old girl in the Swan Valley Nyoongar Community in Perth. The Gordon Inquiry made 197 findings and recommendations in its report, entitled Putting the Picture Together: Inquiry into Response by Government Agencies to Complaints of Family Violence and Child Abuse in Aboriginal Communities ('the Report').

    The Western Australian Government's response to the Gordon Inquiry was tabled in Parliament in December 2002. It is entitled Putting People First.
    Detailed Information:


    Report structure

    The Report consists of 642 pages. Its main sections are as follows:

    Section 2 (chapters 2-4) presents an overview of family violence and child abuse. It offers definitions, theories and contexts for family violence and child abuse and examines their prevalence and causes.

    Section 3 (chapters 5-14) examines the responses by government agencies to family violence and child abuse. It considers health services (chapter 6), the Department for Community Development (chapter 7), housing and infrastructure services (chapter 8), policing (chapter 9), justice services (chapter 10), education and training (chapter 11), Aboriginal affairs (chapter 12) and coordination committees (chapter 13).

    Section 4 (chapters 15-19), entitled 'The Way Forward', suggests responses to findings by the Inquiry.

    The full list of findings and recommendations are in section 5 (chapter 20).

    Terms of Reference

    The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry (page xx) were to:

    '1. Examine the issues raised by the Coroner's inquiry into the death of Susan Taylor in relation to the way that Government agencies dealt with the issues of violence and child sexual abuse at the Swan Valley Nyoongar community.
    2. Examine how State Government agencies respond to evidence of family violence and child sexual abuse that may be occurring in Aboriginal communities generally.
    3. Report to [Eric Ripper, then Acting Premier and Minister for Public Sector Management] with recommendations on practical solutions for addressing incidents of sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities, including any necessary legislative and administrative measures.

    Specifically the Inquiry is to:
    - Examine the activities of State Government agencies in addressing complaints and the reporting of sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities;
    - Identify the barriers and capacity of Government agencies to address the issue of family violence and in particular child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities;
    - Comment and make recommendations on the mandatory reporting of sexually transmitted diseases occurring among children and juveniles;
    - Comment on any limitations of DNA testing in the Aboriginal community; and
    - Propose support measures for children reporting abuse.'

    Related Entries

    Agreement
  • Western Australian Aboriginal Justice Agreement
  • Organisation
  • State of Western Australia

  • References

    Resource
    Sue Gordon, Kay Hallahan and Darrell Henry (2002) Putting the Picture Together: Inquiry into Response by Government Agencies to Complaints of Family Violence and Child Abuse in Aboriginal Communities
    Government of Western Australia (2002) Putting People First: The Western Australian State Government's Action Plan for Addressing Family Violence and Child Abuse in Aboriginal Communities
    Government of Western Australia (2005) Gordon Inquiry Response
    Government of Western Australia (2005) Gordon Newsletter

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