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National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day and International Day of World's Indigenous Peoples 2020

4-August-2020

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day and International Day of World's Indigenous Peoples 2020 – Message from Head of Aboriginal Affairs 

In August, we mark 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 (4 August) and the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (9 August). 

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day



National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day celebrates the strength and culture of Aboriginal children. It’s an opportunity for us to show our support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, as well as learn about the crucial impact that culture, family and community play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child. 

This year’s theme ‘We are the Elders of tomorrow, hear our voice’ recognises the importance of listening to Aboriginal children. Hearing children’s voices today plays a crucial role in them growing up to being influential Elders and leaders of the future. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day is an opportunity to amplify their voices. 

This year’s Children’s Day Ambassadors are young Wurundjeri and Kalkadoon girl Jedda, and Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Di. I was moved by Jedda’s words ‘Saving our culture is important to us kids so we can grow up strong and be who we want to be’. 

The new National Agreement on Closing the Gap, which includes targets aimed at increasing educational attainment and access to early childhood education will support Aboriginal children and young people to grow up strong and to be who they want to be. 

During the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests and the campaign to raise the age of criminal responsibility it is essential that we take the time to listen to our young people and reflect on what they tell us about their views and experiences. 

At Aboriginal Affairs NSW, this day reminds us of the impact of the work we do on Aboriginal children and young people. They are the future First Nations leaders who will ensure that their people and cultures continue to survive and thrive. Like their ancestors, they will continue to strengthen their kinship, culture and links to country and to be a voice for Aboriginal people to advocate for better futures. 

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
 

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is held to promote and protect the rights of Indigenous populations across the world. 

This year’s theme is ‘COVID-19 and Indigenous peoples’ resilience’. It acknowledges how Indigenous people around the world continue to demonstrate resilience and strength in the face of the pandemic while confronting grave threats to their survival.  

The resilience and strength of Aboriginal people and communities that is the backbone of our culture has been clear during COVID-19. As the pandemic continues this resilience is still needed. 

During this time I would like to acknowledge the devastating impact that COVID-19 is having on Indigenous people around the world, including our Native American brothers and sisters. 

In the early days of COVID-19 Aboriginal Affairs NSW quickly responded to the challenges our communities were facing by: 
Establishing the COVID-19 Aboriginal Communities Leadership Group and the NSW Government Coordination Group to make sure the needs of Aboriginal people and communities are embedded into wider NSW Government operations and resolve Aboriginal specific issues

  • Partnering with NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) and the Office of Emergency Management to provide packages containing essential items like non-perishable foods and hygiene supplies to remote Aboriginal communities impacted by COVID-19
  • Working with Aboriginal communities and organisations on the development of community action plans and business continuity plans
  • Working with the Centre for Aboriginal Health, Aboriginal community members and organisations on messaging specifically aimed at the Aboriginal community.
Thank you for the hard work of AANSW staff throughout this time. The relationships you have with Aboriginal communities, service providers and other government agencies have been essential in supporting our people and communities to stay safe.

While the way we celebrate days such as these has changed due to COVID-19, I encourage you all to celebrate these significant events and to engage in and promote conversations about the themes of ‘We are the Elders of tomorrow, hear our voice’ and ‘COVID-19 and Indigenous peoples’ resilience’. 

You can find out more information on how you can get involved at the following links.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day
International Day of the World’s Indigenous People 

Speak soon, 
Lil Gordon
Head of Aboriginal Affairs 

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