Today marks National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day and the peak body for Indigenous childcare says the day is both a celebration and a reminder of the work that still needs to be done.
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.
Decades later, First Nations kids continue to be removed from their families and communities at ever increasing rates into a system that too often inflicts damage.
In Queensland, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care grew by 7.6 per cent over a two-year period between 2019–20 and 2021–21.
According to data released by the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC), placements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in residential care increased 21.7 per cent in that same period with kids remaining in care for longer periods of time.
SNAICC – The National Voice for our Children is committed to creating a brighter and more equitable future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and continue to fight for the promise of the Closing the Gap agreement.
This year’s Children’s Day theme is ‘My Dreaming, My Future’ and SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle says children are encouraged to explore what their Dreaming means to them and their future.
“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,” Ms Liddle said.
“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.
“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.”