Today we celebrate the strengths and culture of Aboriginal children as part of National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day.
This year’s theme is ‘Proud in culture, strong in spirit’, highlighting the importance for all Australians to support Aboriginal family and community connections so their children can be spiritually strong and proud of their history, cultural beliefs and practices. Today is also a day for all of us to acknowledge and continue to learn about the role that culture, family and community play in the lives of young Aboriginal children.
For children who live in care or are detained in Kurlana Tapa, and who maybe be experiencing a disconnection from their kin and country, it is vital that we do everything we can to support their cultural and family connections. In fact, all Aboriginal children in care and detention have the RIGHT to connect with their culture and participate in cultural activities and celebrations.
The new Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care specifically sets out the right for children and young people to connect with their culture. It includes:
- knowing what their cultural heritage is and who their family connections are
- connecting with their Country, community and cultural services
- learning their language, stories, songs, dances, traditions and participating in cultural activities
- having a cultural identity and feeling proud and strong about their culture.
So today, let’s all reflect on how we can support the Aboriginal children we care and work for, so they are strong and proud. And while many events for this year’s National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day had to be cancelled, we wanted to celebrate the culture and spirit of a small group of Aboriginal children currently in care who recently created some beautiful artworks.
Our Aboriginal Advocates, Conrad and Leila, were invited to join this group of young people to an art workshop at the Department for Child Protection’s Inner South Office. Guided by Aboriginal Artist Micky Barlow, they had the chance to design their own artwork that will later contribute to a larger piece of artwork for the Inner South Office. We look forward to seeing the finished product!
Thanks to the team for letting us share the photos!