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Children's Day and World's Indigenous Peoples 2019

05-Aug-2019

Next week marks two significant dates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia and for Aboriginal Affairs NSW. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day (Children’s Day) is this Sunday, 4th of August 2019 and the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (IDWIP) occurs on Friday, 9th of August 2019.

The theme for this year’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day is We Play, We Learn, We Belong.

We play on our land.
We learn from our ancestors.
We belong with our communities.

2019 marks more than 30 years of recognising the needs of Australia’s First Nations children led by the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) – the National Voice of Children, since it formed in 1982. I encourage all staff to promote the significance of the day in your work and in your community networks. There are a range of events occurring at early childhood centres and organisations around NSW which you will find on the Children’s Day website.

This year’s Ambassador for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day 2019 is the animated character Nanna from the NITV children’s series, Little J and Big Cuz. The series was a Logie award winner for Most Outstanding Children’s Program 2018. Nanna has recorded a video message that is available to share on social media platforms using this link.

Here in Aboriginal Affairs NSW, it reminds us all that the work that we do will impacts all NSW Aboriginal children. They are the future First Nations leaders who will ensure that their people and cultures will continue to survive and thrive to determine their own social, economic and cultural outcomes. Like their ancestors, they will continue to strengthen kinship, culture and links to country and to be a voice for Aboriginal people to advocate for better futures.

The Kimberwalli Centre is a key Aboriginal Affairs NSW project that supports the aspirations of First Nations youth, to determine their own destinies. The Centre will provide youth with a culturally safe space to gather on Dharug country to learn, be inspired and to reinforce their cultures through community, education and employment program opportunities.

Likewise, following the establishment of the Aboriginal Languages Act 2017, AANSW’s Languages work will provide a significant framework for the maintenance of Aboriginal cultures through language programs. Many are targeted for the early childhood and the school learning years.

This year the United Nations has chosen this year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous People’s theme to focus on Indigenous Languages, and their significance in the survival of Indigenous cultures and peoples around the world. It highlights the need to revitalize, preserve and promote Indigenous languages through positive practises and programs. This aligns with our Aboriginal Languages Act to promote, reawaken, nurture and grow Aboriginal languages across NSW for the wellbeing of First Peoples. Hosted by Aboriginal Affairs NSW, the Ngamuru Aboriginal Languages Gathering 2019 in Sydney brought people together from language groups across NSW to celebrate and acknowledge the past efforts of keeping our language alive and highlighted the language revitalisation work that is being done today; and importantly provided a space to talk about the future of Aboriginal languages in NSW.

I encourage you all to celebrate these significant events and to engage in and promote conversations and activities to positively support the significance of the work that we do here in Aboriginal Affairs NSW to enable NSW Aboriginal people to determine their own futures.

To find a local event, see the Children’s Day Event Finder for listed events in NSW or you could celebrate the launch of the newly renovated premises of the very first Aboriginal Children’s Service in Redfern this Sunday (4 August 2019) from 11am (details are in the link).

Haylene Grogan
A/g Deputy Secretary and Head of Aboriginal Affairs NSW


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