National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day – August 4
And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them. (Mark 10:13-16)
With the theme ‘We are the Elders of the Future, Hear Our Voice’, all Australians are encouraged to recognise the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day on August 4.
Initially established in 1988, August 4 has been historically selected for this occasion to communally celebrate the birthdays of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were taken from their families at a young age, without knowing their birthday – the Stolen Generations.
This year’s theme honours the Elders – custodians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional knowledge, passed down to their children through stories and cultural practice. It is about helping kids stand tall and feel connected and proud in culture. Having a strong connection to culture helps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children develop a strong sense of self, a comprehensive education, and a big future.
Hearing children’s voices today plays a crucial role in them becoming influential Elders and leaders of the future.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day provides an opportunity for all to show support as we stop and are mindful of the crucial impact that culture, family and community play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child. Without these elements present in a child’s life – the vulnerability of their health, spiritual growth and well-being is greatly increased.