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Setting the Record Straight for the Rights of the Child

It’s just under two months to the Setting the Record Straight for the Rights of the Child National Summit to be held on the 8-9 May at Deakin Edge, Federation Square. Over the two days, around 200 participants from community, advocacy, government, and research organisations will come together and to discuss how to transform the way records of childhood out-of-home care are created, captured, managed, accesses and archived.

The Summit is a key moment for the Setting the Record Straight for the Rights of the Child Initiative, and also for the Australian archival and recordkeeping community. It is a recognition that while we have come a long way in addressing the failings of recordkeeping and archiving systems to meet the identity, memory and accountability needs for those who as children have been caught up in past and present child welfare and protection systems, there is still a long way to go. As the Records and Recordkeeping Consultation paper from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse indicated ‘the problems are systemic’. That means that transformative solutions are required to shift the structures holding the knottiest bits of the problems in place.

The Summit aims to initiate an action agenda that takes up the challenge of designing and developing recordkeeping and archiving frameworks, processes and systems with the rights of children and their adult selves at their core. We need recordkeeping and archiving to be based on recognising, respecting and enacting multiple rights in records, and be able to meet lifelong identity, memory and accountability needs.

That’s a big ask and requires major transformations in regulatory frameworks, systems and process design along with attitudes to recordkeeping and archiving. Such systemic change can only happen with the will, ingenuity and drive of a multi-faceted community coming together to imagine, design and implement a better future.

The National Summit is just a beginning. The Setting the Record Straight for the Rights of the Child Initiative will continue working on advocacy, communications, research, development and implementation strategies well beyond 2017. And we welcome anyone with a passion for records and archives to join us.

For more information contact:
Dr Joanne Evans
Centre for Organisational and Social Informatics
Faculty of IT, Monash University
joanne.evans@monash.edu

2 Comments

  1. A great event – as past of an even larger initiative to shift the thinking about what records mean to people, especially how they empower people to regain control over their own story of childhood.

    • A great initiative to improve the record practices of the dark past that should give power back to survivors. For way too long the records of our lives have been destroyed, deliberately hidden or thrown out with the trash. These records are our history and must be preserved at all costs.

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