National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day is celebrated each year on August 4 and is a time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to celebrate their children, and for all Australians to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
This year’s theme is We Play, We Learn, We Belong, focuses on the importance of early years education and care and the critical role family, community, country and culture plays in a child’s development.
Over the past year, OzChild has embarked on a learning discovery to address the very real need for support programs and services which meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, children, young people and their families.
“By increasing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander work force, it’s allowed us to work with the local Mob to keep our families healthy, our children at home and our Mob strong, black and Deadly”, says OzChild’s Aboriginal Cultural Advisor, Kylie Bell.
Established in early 2019, our Bridging Cultures Unit, Dhiiyann Mirri, which in Kamilaroi means Family of Stars, has ensured the organisation is actively meeting its responsibilities in honouring our First Nations Peoples as we work towards reconciliation and self-determination through knowledge, practice and by growing our partnerships with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations in each State and Territory.
“It’s important to keep Koorie kids at home with their families so they grow up strong, black and Deadly”, says Kylie. “But if we can’t, we must ensure they are connected to family, community, country and culture, that is their birth right,” Kylie says.
As an organisation, we understand that in order to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children later in life, it is critical that the support programs and services we deliver are culturally sensitive, are backed by evidence, and meet the real needs of local Indigenous communities.
That’s why this Children’s Day, we will be celebrating with our children in the hope that the work we do today, will lead them to a better tomorrow.
Learn more about National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day.