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Stainton, Irene

Aboriginal Administrator, Child Welfare Worker and Cultural Advisor


Alongside her work in Aboriginal child welfare, Irene Stainton has long been an advocate for Aboriginal cultural heritage, holding a series of advisory positions at state and national levels.


Following her father, who was Manager of the Aboriginal Advancement Council in Perth, Irene Stainton became deeply involved in indigenous affairs. She worked in child welfare for many years with the Yorganop Aboriginal Child Care Agency in Perth, becoming secretary of the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care.

Stainton's interest in Aboriginal culture was deep-seated and twice she presented discussion papers to the United Nations (Geneva, 1994; Switzerland, 1995). She was the Registrar of Aboriginal sites before being appointed Chairperson of the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee in the Aboriginal Affairs Department. In this capacity she presented a paper for the Indigenous Heritage Workshop of the National Trust's State Heritage Convention in Western Australia in 1999.

Stainton serves as a board member for both the Western Australian Museum (Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee) and the Berndt Museum of Anthropology at the University of Western Australia.

She was an Aboriginal Council member for the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families.

Sources used to compile this entry: Briskman, Linda, The Black Grapevine: Aboriginal Activism and the Stolen Generations, The Federation, Annandale, NSW, 2003, 213 pp. pp. 103-4.; (accessed June 2005).

Leonarda Kovacic and Barbara Lemon

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