Speaker Bio Ann Oakley
Ann Oakley-Hawke founded Kinship Connections Aboriginal Corporation in 2012. She is a descendant of the Yawuru people from Broome and Gooniyandi people from the East Kimberly. Ann is the third generation in her family to have been affected by government removal policies. She was taken from her family at the age of four. Like many others who were taken from family she knows firsthand the traumas that disconnection from family and culture brings.
Ann started Kinship Connections in Perth, after six years as a Senior Field Officer within Fostering Services where she witnessed the difficulties the Department for Child Protection had in meeting its obligations under the Aboriginal Child Placement Principles. Kinship Connections provides unique programs aimed at supporting Aboriginal families caught up in intergenerational contact with the Department for Child Protection and Family Support. These programs are focussed on re-unifying Aboriginal children with their parents, family and community.
Ann has grown up seven young adults and has been a foster parent to some 40 children over a thirty-year period, she is now currently caring for five of her own grandchildren who are in the care of the Department. Ann knows firsthand how out-of-home car and institutional care can strip people of their Identity, Aboriginality and self-respect.
Ann holds a double degree in Aboriginal Health and Community Development, and a post-graduate in Indigenous Healing Arts. She sits on the Noongar Child Protection Council, Family Matters WA (SNAICC), Departmental Centralised Foster Carers Panel and the Foster Carers Association Board. She is an experienced trainer, delivering Cultural Learning and Aboriginal Parenting Perspectives training to foster families and organisations. Ann brings wide-ranging life experience and skills to her work with Kinship Connections and because of this Ann’s knowledge and expertise continues to be sought by Government and Non-Government agencies across WA.