Today is National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, a time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities to celebrate the strengths and culture of our children.
CareSouth supports hundreds of children and young people across our wide geographic footprint, many of whom are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Buwanha, CareSouth’s Aboriginal collective, was established five years ago to ensure that these children and young people entrusted into our care maintain their links to Culture, Kinship and Country.
CareSouth and Buwanha are urging all Australians to show their support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children by learning about the crucial impact that culture, family and community play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child.
Most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are thriving and growing up strong in their cultures, with support from their families and communities. However, a significant number of our children continue to face ongoing challenges stemming from colonisation and its effects. This includes discrimination, poverty, systemic removal, intergenerational trauma, dislocation from land and culture and community disempowerment.
To achieve equality, we must approach these challenges through holistically, considering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s wellbeing, safety and development.
Our support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in foster care
To support this important day, Buwanha has launched new Aboriginal child friendly resources for all CareSouth’s family time rooms – a space for children and young people in foster care to spend time with their family. The resources include story books, Aboriginal art book storage boxes, comfy cushions pained by Aboriginal artists, bush tucker puzzles, a peg doll family handcrafted by Barka Arts, yarning cards which have been developed as conversation starters and Can You? culture cards to encourage children to learn sounds and movements, such as laughing like a Kookaburra, based on Aboriginal Culture and Native Animals.
The aim of these resources is to show the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in our care that we are committed to the strength of their culture, and we support them. It is also a way for our staff and carers to learn innovative and interactive ways to ensure the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children CareSouth supports are connected to Culture, Community and Country.
To learn more about CareSouth’s Reconciliation Action Plan, visit https://www.caresouth.org.au/about-us/reconciliation-action-plan/