National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day celebrations
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day is a time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities to celebrate the strength and culture of our children.
This year’s Children’s Day ambassador is Thomas Mayor. Thomas is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander man who is an author, union official, and strong advocate for the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
“Our children are central to achieving the aspirations expressed in the Uluru Statement. They are the ones who will teach us how to find our collective heart as we move toward making Voice, Treaty and Truth a reality.”
I’m honoured to be National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day ambassador,” Mr Mayor said.
“Today, we celebrate our children and come together for a future where our children can walk in two worlds, and where their culture is seen as a gift to their country.”
SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle said the day was both a celebration and a reminder of the work that still needs to be done to create a brighter and more equitable future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
The date of August 4 was chosen to commemorate the day used communally to mark the birthdays of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were taken from their families at a young age – the Stolen Generations.
On 4 August, all Australians have the opportunity to show their support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, as well as learn about the crucial role that culture, family and community play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child.
In 1988, the first National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day was established and was set against the backdrop of protests led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their supporters during the bicentennial year.
On National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, we celebrate our children. We celebrate seeing our kids grow up happy and strong in culture, connected to their families, communities, and their songlines,” Ms Liddle said.
"We are honoured to have Thomas represent our children this upcoming Children’s Day; as he continues to carry the Uluru Statement’s mission that works towards a better future for our children,” Ms Liddle said.
“Through this year’s theme children will explore what their Dreaming means to them and their future. Our stories, songs, dance, art, science, and languages will be shared and embraced by our young ones and their families.
“Children’s Day also has a focus on the futures of our young people– a future where far too many face being removed from their families, caught up in the youth justice system, less likely to reach developmental milestones than non-Indigenous children.
“We have had 60,000 years of raising strong, proud children.
“It is important to remember the advocacy for our children’s rights that supports Children’s Day. While our children need to be celebrated, their rights need to continue to be fought for. We are still fighting for the promise of the Closing the Gap agreement to be realised.
“On Children’s Day, all Australians must stand together with our children and families and commit to delivering on the promise of the Closing the Gap agreement for our children.”
The Maritime Union of Australia's National Secretary, Paddy Crumlin, congratulated SNAICC and Mr Mayor on the success and importance of National Aboriginal and Islander Children's Day.
"Our union is immensely proud of the leadership role taken on by one of our own in, Thomas Mayor, a wharfie and a committed trade unionist, who adds to his considerable public contributions as Children's Day Ambassador," Mr Crumlin said.