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Sue Anne Hunter Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency Embedding Culture for A Positive Future for Koorie Kids.

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Presentation on theme: "Sue Anne Hunter Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency Embedding Culture for A Positive Future for Koorie Kids."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sue Anne Hunter Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency Embedding Culture for A Positive Future for Koorie Kids

2 Colonised Australia as a Toxic Environment Colonisation is an ongoing reality – through culture abuse. When the culture of a people is ignored, denigrated, or attacked it affects -the very identity and soul of people; -their sense of self-esteem, -their connectedness to their family and community. It is estimated that tens of thousands of Indigenous children were removed from their families and raised in institutions or fostered- out to non-indigenous parents. Cultural abuse remains to this day. Child protection intervention in the lives of Indigenous community remains disproportionate in Australia. Indigenous peoples

3 Resilience the ability to reframe negative events by searching for a perspective that is simultaneously truthful and favourable helps people maintain a realistically optimistic perspective (Ashford, Kreiner and Schneider)

4 Self determination and Rights as A Protective Factor Encouraging Resilience Indigenous songs and stories turn tragedy and oppression into song-lines of identity and self-belief are critical to resilience. Three types of resiliency –overcoming the odds, –sustained competence under stress and –recovery from trauma (Kirby and Fraser) Speaking up is critical to resilience –resisting being talked down to, –resisting learned helplessness, –regaining control over your life. –transform a negative experience into a song-line which allows for realistic hope.

5 The Foundations of Aboriginal Child and Family Welfare Restoring capacity of the Aboriginal community after impact of colonisation through –Strengthening culture –Self determination and human rights –Holistic nurture and protection of our children Looking after our own in our own way

6 Core principles the primacy of culture, the primacy of self-determination and Indigenous sovereignty and the related principles of self- management and community control, the need to develop capacity building for a marginalised/colonised community in a dominant/colonial context, the primacy of addressing children’s development needs and the primacy of holistic, strength-based community development approaches to child welfare encouraging and facilitating communities ‘doing it themselves’ rather than ‘being done to’.

7 Cultural workers Assisting the family put together a family tree which will contain Aboriginal art work Explore the families’ network and assist family reconnection where possible Identify with the family its totems, tribal group, traditional languages Link the family into cultural activities Co-lead cultural family camps at cultural sites Co-lead children and young people group programs to provide cultural input

8 Aboriginal Family Decision Making (AFDM) Family Decisions making is a culturally respected meeting involving the child or young person, significant others of the child or young persons community, Elders, and Community organisation staff. The decisions to be made by families in regard to protecting a child at risk of harm. The Aboriginal Family Decision Making –empowers families and communities to have control over addressing their own issues and allows for realistic change. –working together allows for the effects of change to be implemented in ways which are of benefit to all involved and –enables the maintenance of an Aboriginal child/young person’s link to community, encouraging stronger families and communities.

9 Koorie FACES The program –builds confidence in parents and families of Aboriginal children, –focuses on the value and importance of Aboriginal culture and Indigenous families, –uses a range of activities to ensure participants are involved in a fun and interactive learning environment, –applies Aboriginal leaning styles and includes group discussions, story telling – particularly by Elders, roles plays, fun group activities which are highly visual and interactive and time to reflect on learning

10 Conclusion Disconnection is a critical risk factor that mitigates against resilience. Therefore we need to develop strategies which –re-connect the child with the family and the extended family, –re-connect the child with social networks of care and –re-connect the child with their culture. We need to tell our Indigenous kids that they are valued and loved and that their culture is valued and respected. Culture can provide that sense of belonging and through that belonging, resilience.

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