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Children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture

Children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture

Does family law take into account my children’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture when making decisions about arrangements for my children?

Yes, the Family Court does take your children's Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander culture into account when working out what is in your children's best interests. The Court will take into account the culture, traditions and lifestyle of your children, as well as those of both parents.

Family law says that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have a right to enjoy their culture. They also have a right to enjoy that culture with others of their culture. This right to enjoy their culture includes the right to:

  • maintain a connection with that culture, and
  • have the support and encouragement they need to explore their culture to the full and develop a positive appreciation of their culture

Maintaining a connection to culture can include things like spending regular time with family, including extended family, and participating in cultural activities.

When making a parenting order, the Court needs to look at what impact it will have on your children's ability to enjoy their culture.

How does the Family Court find out about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture of me, my former partner and my children?

In making a parenting order for your children, the Family Court can hear evidence from people who understand your and your children's culture and traditions. This can include evidence from you, your family, elders and experts. This evidence or information can help the Court to make a decision which takes your children's culture and traditions into account when working out what arrangements are in their best interests. For more information on best interests, please see Best interests of the child.

Last reviewed: 22/10/2012

Last modified:


The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.