National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day

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Today is Children’s Day, and it is the largest national day to celebrate our Indigenous children.

Children’s Day, and the week leading up to it, is a time to for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to celebrate the strengths and culture of their children. The day is an opportunity for all Australians to show their support for Aboriginal children, as well as learn about the crucial impact that community, culture and family play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child.

Children’s Day 2015 Theme: Little People, Big Futures

This year’s Children’s Day is all about helping our kids stand tall and feel connected and proud in culture.

It’s about supporting and celebrating the services that empower our little people to have big futures, and ensuring these services are adequately funded so that we can provide secure futures for the next generation of our kids.

We know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community led services lead to improved development and education outcomes for our children; they’re more effective in creating safe and welcoming environments that engage our families and connect them to the service supports they need.

In early years these services provide a vital place for our communities to share and continue their cultural traditions, grounding strong and positive identities in our little ones.

“I don’t think we’ve ever thought this place is about strengthening just children, this place is about building a stronger community.”

– Director, Tasmanian Aboriginal Children’s Centre

This year’s Children’s Day theme aims to provide a space for everyone to come together to celebrate the achievements of these services and the families and children they support. If we can ensure these services are funded in a sustainable way they can continue to ensure all our little kids have big futures.

Why is Children’s Day important for us?

Know culture, know self. No culture, no self. Aboriginal specific services matter. – Chrise Wanu

Children’s Day is a day to celebrate and appreciate our children, for they represent the future of our nation. It is also a time to acknowledge and become aware of the fact that Indigenous children do not share the same opportunities as most Australian children.

Community empowerment and keeping kids connected with family and culture is central to addressing this disadvantage, to make the most of their opportunities Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children must be able to find strength in their identity and pride in who they are. It’s time we all stood up and did our part.

How to celebrate

Here are some wonderful ideas which are outlined on the official Children’s Day website:

Host your own Children’s Day event – be creative and develop your own celebrations! 

You could do this at your own work or in partnership with a local Aboriginal organisation or community. If you need some inspiration to help you decide what sort of event (big or small) that you will have, make sure you have a look at out page full of event ideas. Click here to get inspired.

Previous events have included: community morning teas or BBQs, arts and craft sessions, cultural exchanges, concerts and performances, competitions, sporting days, games and activities, and so much more. If you aren’t an Aboriginal organisation you could invite an Aboriginal Elder or community representative to talk about Children’s Day.  A list of events will be kept on this website. As we get closer to Children’s Day more events and celebrations across the country will be added to this list.

Participate in the 1000 Deadly Kids, 1000 Deadly Books initiative

In 2015 SNAICC has joined forces with Kids Own Publishing to launch 1000 Deadly Kids, 1000 Deadly Books – a project that aims to see 1000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids across the country create and self publish their own stories in the lead up to Children’s Day.

All services and communities holding a Children’s Day event in 2015 are encouraged to participate, with tools such as SNAICC’s Self-Publishing Workshop Kit and the WePublish app great ways to get involved.

Learn more about 1000 Deadly Kids, 1000 Deadly Books to make sure your little ones are amongst the thousands of kids publishing their own books on 4 August.

Order some Children’s Day kits to help your community enjoy the day

Each year SNAICC produces and distributes resources to help local communities and organisations celebrate the day. This year SNAICC distributed over 10,000 Children’s Day kits and other resources to assist Children’s Day events across Australia.

While Children’s Day bags for 2015 have sold out, the official poster is still available to order via the Children’s Day shop.

You can also download the Celebration Pack for all the required resources and information you need to create your own event.

Attend the National Launch

This year Aboriginal MP Ken Wyatt and SNAICC National Executive Dawn Wallam will officially launch National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day at the national launch event hosted by the Midvale Hub and the Swan Children and Family Centre in outer Perth.

 Pledge a message of support, celebration and participation

Send in a video or message of support and recognition wishing all Aboriginal and Islander children a happy Children’s Day

 Stay Informed

Keep up to date with all the issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families by joining our e-bulletin.

Get involved in the Children’s Day national competitions by creating celebratory banners, drawings, short stories, and paintings inspired by the 2015 theme: Little Kids, Big Futures. There are awesome prizes to be won and kids can visit the website to view their own work, as well as work of other kids right across Australia.

TAKE ACTION

Take action by:

Joining in Children’s Day celebrations.

Spreading the word to increase participation and awareness of Children’s Day and its important themes

Encouraging your organisation to become a partner of Children’s Day

Pledge a message of  support for all those celebrating Children’s Day

Make a donation  – any funds you donate will assist better research and advocacy to help our children be proud and safe in their communities.

Sources: SNAICC – Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care, aboriginalchildrensday.com.au

 

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