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The 21st Lionel Murphy Memorial Lecture

Australia's Children: Does the Law Offer Them Sufficient Protection?


The Honourable Alastair Nicholson AO, RFD, QC
Former Chief Justice
Family Court of Australia
Honorary Professorial Fellow
University of Melbourne

Parliament House, Sydney

Wednesday 28 November 2007


The Northern Territory Intervention

On 21 June 2007, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs announced an intervention in the Northern Territory, ostensibly to protect Indigenous children from sexual and other abuse. The announcement was made in response to the Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle, "Little Children are Sacred" Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse 2007 of 30 April 2007. That report revealed a shocking situation in relation to the abuse of Indigenous children in the Northern Territory and clearly called for urgent action by the Northern Territory Government.


see pages 13 - 21