Announcements - August 3, 2020
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day: ‘We are the Elders of tomorrow, hear our voice’.
Intereach chooses to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, its history and significance of the day for Children within our service area. The day was first established in 1988, with a backdrop of protests by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the lead up to Australia’s bi-centennial. It was heralded as a day for the inclusion of their children where they could be celebrated, in order to allow them to feel confident and special.
Prior to 1988, the fourth of August was used to communally celebrate the birthdays of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children who had been historically forcibly removed from their parents, family, kin, and country at an age when they could commonly not remember the day of their birth. These children would go on to be known as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples with direct experience of ‘Stolen Generations’.
Some people may ask why is it still important to celebrate this day whilst the majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children today are thriving, growing up strong and connected to their Country and Culture, with the support of their kin, extended family and communities. There are still a significant number of children that face the realities of discrimination, racism, poverty, intergenerational trauma, connection to ‘Stolen Generation’, systemic removal and dislocation from kin, family and Country, shame and community disempowerment.
Only through days that highlight and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture may we actively seek to combat these negative experiences whilst working towards equality for all children that is supported holistically when considering positive impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s wellbeing, safety and development.
Intereach has previously celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day both as an organisation and within its services and supports which work to deliver family-centred practice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and their Families. A key example of this is through the Intereach Indigenous Advancement Strategy program, where school uniforms and other educational resources are offered to Aboriginal Families with children getting ready to go to school.
Intereach Indigenous Advancement Strategy family worker Danica Reeves said not all Aboriginal Children have access to a school uniform.
“Being able to provide uniforms to these children gives them great pride and excitement about starting primary school.”