Interrelate celebrate indigenous Children's Day

TODAY is National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day

The annual day celebrates and recognises the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children, and this year's theme Little People, Big Futures, encourages indigenous children to stand tall and to feel connected and proud of their culture, despite the extra challenges they face in life.

Research shows that Indigenous children have poorer outcomes on a wide range of indicators.

Many of these are the consequences of a complex tapestry of social, economic and environmental conditions that can be compounded by the ongoing effect of colonialization that shows as a result of intergenerational trauma, local organisation Interrelate has said.

The outcome may be physical, social, emotional, cognitive and language difficulties, some of which may persist into adulthood.

Fortunately we know that Indigenous children thrive when they and their families are able to stay close to their culture, traditions, language, stories, music and art, Interrelate Area Manager, North Coast, Julie Leete said.

"Navigating two cultures can be difficult and families can benefit from support that helps them manage these challenges," Ms Leete said.

"Doing this well requires an integrated approach, where effort and funding are aligned, programs are adapted to the realities of service delivery in different locations, and where practices are built on existing strengths and capacities.

"At Interrelate we do this by building solid relationships with our local communities.

"Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Liaison workers learn what changes our communities want and need, and foster relationships that support flexible interventions that engage and empower our communities.

"From these relationships emerge a range of different activities and programs that bring families and communities together.

"These have included yarning circles, healing workshops, support groups, a community garden, school-based programs, didgeridoo and dance groups and more.

"These efforts are about building connections within and between families, so that they are supported in bringing about changes that help young Indigenous people respond to and overcome the challenges they face."

For more information about Interrelate's programs, or for support, phone 1300 i relate (1300 473 528) or visit www.interrelate.org.au



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