August 12, 2010

National Aboriginal & Islander Child Care Conference 2010

• As of 30 June 2009, there were 10,512 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Out of Home Care across Australia that is nine times the rate of other children;
• 86% of Indigenous respondents reported speaking only English at home, which is about the same as the non-Indigenous population (83%);
• In 2006, the median weekly gross individual income for Indigenous peoples was $278, this represented 59% of the median weekly gross individual income for non-Indigenous peoples ($473).
The largest and most successful national conference on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children was held on 27-29 July 2010 in Alice Spring. Nearly 1000 delegates have participated in three days of sharing stories, wisdom and experiences. Kimi Alcott, our Indigenous Programs Coordinator represented Enough is Enough at this conference. Please read Kimi’s experience at this event.
"The Conference took place in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory from the 26th to the 29th July 2010. The attendance was expected to be 800 but grew to 1000 people from across Australia.
The first workshop I attended was ‘Real kids in an unreal world'- building resilience in children. This was presented by Maggie Dent, who is a national and international author, a parenting and resilience expert with a special interest in the early years and adolescence. She is a passionate advocate for the healthy common sense raising of children that strengthens families and communities. Maggie spoke of common sense raising of children and how the raising of children has drastically changed throughout the years and not always positively. For instance the amount of educational toys given to young children is unnecessary and very daunting for such young children especially aged from 0-6months. Children are often more happy to play with a bucket and pegs or in the saucepan cupboard these activities are often unknown to many children. The elimination of monkey bars in schools and children not able to climb trees and get dirty is impacting negatively on our children. Maggie’s presentation was very interesting and well received.

Another workshop that I found interesting was remote healing work and involved the Santa Teresa horse program. This program involves an intergenerational leadership with Men’s groups. Program participants take part in a 5 day camp on Santa Teresa Property with several members of ‘Bushmob Inc’. They also run a Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation centre for young people. They have had attendees and participants from interstate and from all sources has a very positive impact on participants.

On Tuesday evening I attended the ‘Aboriginal Healing Centre’ in the centre of Alice Springs. This centre is very relaxed and has a very welcoming atmosphere. All people are welcomed and there is no arguing or alcohol on the grounds. Here bush medicines are made from plants and are prepared and distributed to the community. These are made into creams, oils and soaps. There are also bush healers in attendance to assist the sick. This organisation is run by donations and is well respected. This organisation also takes youth out on walks to collect ingredients. I really enjoyed this visit and look forward to many good stories of healing through this method.

Throughout the conference I made many contacts with different people from all works of life and different agencies. The most gratifying moments to myself was to hear our Indigenous people speaking in their true language, how awesome that was. I really appreciate the strong culture in Alice Springs and the speaking of Indigenous language because so much of our language and culture is lost, but to see and here what’s happening in other areas with our Indigenous people is inspiring."


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