Today, 4th August 2020 is National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, a day where we celebrate the strength’s and culture of our children. An annual event since 1988, this year’s theme “We are the Elders of tomorrow, HEAR OUR VOICE” resonates even louder as it coincides with the release last week of the “National Agreement on Closing the Gap”.
This National Agreement has a focus on early developmental outcomes for children, with a target to increase the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children assessed as developmentally on track to 55% by 2013 (currently at 35%).
For the first time, the National Agreement outlines the commitment by governments to change the way they work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These reforms will:
- embed joint-decision making;
- build the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled service sector;
- transform mainstream government services; and
- improve data to support informed decision-making.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced: “This is the first time a National Agreement designed to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has been negotiated directly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives.”
LEAD acknowledges that hearing children’s voices today will play a crucial role in the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children becoming the influential Elders and leaders of the future.