Proud in Culture, Strong in Spirit
Today on 4 August communities across Australia are celebrating and honouring First Nations children and their connections to culture as part of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day.
To mark the day, the National Safe Church Unit of the Uniting Church has shared a special version of its Child Safe Principles poster for First Nation members and communities.
Celebrated annually, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day recognises that the safety, wellbeing and development of First Nations Children are bound up with their connections to community, culture, language, and Country. The 2021 theme is Proud in Culture, Strong in Spirit.
“All First Nations children have the right to grow up in a culturally-safe environment, guided by the wisdom of elders and connected to culture and community,” said Alison Overeem, Leprena Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress Tasmania (UAICC) Tasmania Manager in a shared statement from the UAICC, UnitingCare Australia, and Uniting Church in Australia Assembly.
The new Safe Church Principles poster includes artwork by Grace Williams, proud Palawa woman from the South-East nations of Lutrawita.
“This artwork represents the land on which we walk, the land that nurtures us, and the land our children grow on and with,” said Grace.
“It represents our connection as a culture, the whole-community approach with our children and how important it is for us to keep our children safe and to raise our children strong in culture, wisdom, knowledge and education. Let's all have a role in keeping our children safe and strong.”
Grace works as a Cultural and Community Resource Officer for Leprena.
Safe Church Unit National Director Rev John Cox, said, “Today we celebrate First Nations children and their right to grow up strong in culture and spirit."
"We’re honoured to collaborate with Grace, and with Ps Mark Kickett, Interim National Chairperson for UAICC, to make this poster available for congregations and communities. As Grace says, we all have a part to play.”
The Uniting Church’s Child Safe principles support the Church to grow a child safe culture across its whole life, helping children and young people feel safe, supported and connected. Download the poster to share here and visit the National Safe Church Unit website for a range of other useful resources.
Uniting Church communities across our churches, agencies and schools are encouraged to celebrate National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day. The Children's Day website has great resources and more information on how to get involved.
Have ideas for other safe church resources which would be helpful to your congregation? Please contact NSCU at firstname.lastname@example.org