The first National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day was instituted in 1988 on August 4 against the backdrop of demonstrations organised by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and those who supported them during the bicentennial year. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples believed that there should be a day set aside to honour our kids and give them the confidence, inclusion, and to feel special
The Stolen Generations, a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were abducted from their family at an early age without being informed of their birthday, had their birthdays collectively celebrated on August 4 in the past.
Children’s Day has become a significant occasion in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids, families, and community organisations as it has increased every year. This wonderful day has been commemorated in communities all around Australia with events such as cultural gatherings, open days, arts & crafts, storytelling, face painting, concerts, morning teas, and neighbourhood barbecues.
Children’s Day is a time when all Australians, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities, celebrate the talents and culture of our young people. It’s an opportunity for us to show how much we care about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids while also learning about the significant roles that culture, family, and community play in the lives of all ATS children. Children’s Day has been celebrated every year since 1988 thanks to the National Voice for Our Children (SNAICC) organisation.
With help from their families and communities, the majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are flourishing and developing strong ties to their traditions.
But a sizable portion of our kids still struggle with issues brought on by colonisation and its side consequences. This involves exclusion from one’s native country and culture, discrimination, poverty, systematic exclusion, intergenerational trauma, and communal disempowerment.
In order to attain equity, we must approach these issues holistically, taking into account the development, wellbeing, and safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Every Australian has the chance to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children on August 4 and learn about the significant roles that culture, family, and community play in the lives of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Numerous early development and education centres hold celebrations on Children’s Day every year. More than 1,300 events took place across the country in 2021. Your event can be held at your place of business, a local school or kindergarten, or in collaboration with a group or community that represents local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.
If you are planning on hosting a Children’s Day event on or in the week of August 4, please register your event with SNAICC here.
Ideas and activities to celebrate
If you’re able to gather with friends to celebrate, consider some of the following:
- Plan a morning tea or open day for parents to bring their kids to work.
- Use SNAICC’s ‘My Dreaming, My Future’ activity, where children are invited to draw or write about what dreaming means to them.
- Plan some First Nations craft playspirations such as bush branch weaving (activity sheet), nature jewellery (activity sheet).
- Allow children the opportunity to be inspired by Indigenous art and culture and to paint their own clap sticks with this activity and our Inspiration Clapstick sets. We teamed our Japily Symbol flashcards, Russell’s traditional Arnhem Land style clapsticks along with a range of ochre coloured paints for this playspiration.
- By providing children with the inspiration, this provocation including the blank clapstick canvas allows children to experience and be inspired without the guidance of a parent or educator.
- Organise a family day of fun for foster and kinship parents who are raising their off-spring.
- Plan a kid-friendly picnic or other activities in a neighbourhood park.
- Invite senior citizens, families, and their kids to your service or school for cultural activities and storytelling.
- Hold a ceremony when the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags are raised.
- Hold a fair or other fundraising event for the youngsters in your neighbourhood.
- Create sporting events or contests for children and teenagers.
- On Children’s Day, invite local authorities, elected officials, and elders to visit your service or school.
- Promote Children’s Day by using one of SNAICC’s social media, email or website images.
- Display a Children’s Day poster to spread awareness.