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National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day – celebrating our children
Back in 1988, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people protesting against the Bicentenary celebrations wanted to show their support for Indigenous children around Australia. And so the first National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day was held on 4 August 1988.
Now a major national annual event organised by the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), the national non-government peak body representing the interests of Indigenous children, Children’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate children and show them they are important and worthwhile.
The date 4 August was chosen was because in the past when Indigenous children were taken from their family at a young age, they never knew their birthday, and so 4 August was chosen to give all these children one day of the year to celebrate their birthday.
The theme for this year’s Children’s Day is Value Our Rights, Respect Our Culture, Bring Us Home, which recognises the twentieth anniversary of the important Bringing them Home report. The report exposed the effect of past policies and practices of the Stolen Generations on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and SNAICC wants this year’s Children’s Day to highlight the many benefits children experience when they are raised with strong connections to family and culture.
Communities around Australia are holding a great range of events to celebrate Children’s Day, from community barbecues to activities like obstacle courses, visits from the local police and fire fighters, crafts, dancing and story time. Most of all, communities are ensuring that their children know they are loved.