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How to celebrate NAIDOC week with your kids

NAIDOC week is here. It’s a time to recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It’s a time of celebration for Indigenous communities, and for all Australians it’s an opportunity to acknowledge Australia’s long, rich history and discover how much we can learn from the custodians of this land.

The theme for this year’s NAIDOC celebrations is particularly exciting for us, not just because of our focus on the rights of girls, but also because Plan International Australia is now looking inwards, working locally with our Indigenous communities. (Watch this space!)

Because of her, we can!

The theme for this year’s NAIDOC week celebrates the incredible work and roles women play in their communities.

We want our kids to know the people, particularly the women, who have shaped Australia. People who, because of their colour and also their gender, are often publicly invisible. So we’ve put together some ideas on how you and your kids can get involved in this year’s celebrations and make sure their voices and stories are heard.

  1. LEARN: Introduce your kids to Indigenous women who have helped to shape Australia. Truganini, Fanny Cochrane Smith, Celeste Liddle, Nakkiuh Lui. Cathy Freeman, Emily Kame Kngwarreye and countless others have made this country what it is today. For more inspiration check out this piece on 20 inspiring black women who have changed Australia.

  2. WATCH: Take the chance to introduce your kids to films and TV that showcase our Indigenous culture and history. Here are some suggestions:
    • Dust Echoes a children’s series that revolves around ancient Dreamtime stories (Rated G)
    • Bran Nue Dae is a fun musical comedy-drama for the family (Rated PG)
    • Rabbit Proof Fence a true story on the stolen generation centred around three girls who are taken from their families. (Rated PG)
    • The Sapphires a musical comedy-drama loosely based on a true story with strong female leads. (Rated PG)
    • Bush Mechanics An off-beat series that’s a blend of documentary and drama following the Bush Mechanics, a group of Aboriginal characters travelling through central Australia. (Rated PG)
    • This great rap from the kids at Echuca College, Because of Her we Can.


    For older teens:

    • Ten Canoes A story of forbidden love it provides a glimpse into aboriginal life centuries before European settlement. It’s the first feature filmed in Indigenous language. (Rated M)
    • Black Comedy Black Comedy is a sketch comedy show by Blackfellas. (Rated M)
    • Beneath Clouds The story of Lena, born to an Aboriginal mother and Irish father, and Vaughn, a Murri boy doing time in minimum security prison.
    • Samson & Delilah a beautiful but devastating film that tackles modern issues impacting Indigenous youth. (Rated MA)

  3. READ:

    • My Place, Sally Morgana moving account of the author's quest to discover her Aboriginal background, which was kept hidden for many years. The book has been extremely popular since its publication in 1987. For 15 years up or a three part series has been adapted for readers age 9-11.
    • The Rainbow, Ros Mariarty and Balarinji a read-aloud story featuring indigenous art by Balarinji that shows the colour behind the Australian landscape before a storm. (ages 3-5)
    • Kick with My Left Foot, Paul Seden and Karen Brigg This children’s picture book tells the story of a child in an Indigenous community getting ready to play footy. (ages 0-5)
    • Welcome to Country, Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy This Welcome to Country comes from a most respected Elder, Aunty Joy Murphy illustrated by Indigenous artist Lisa Kennedy. (ages 5+)
    • Alfred’s War, Rachel Bin Salleh and Samantha Fry A story that brings to light the lack of recognition given to Australian Indigenous servicemen who fought in WWII. (middle and upper primary)
    • My Girragunji, Meme McDonald and Boori Monty Pryor A book about a boy overcoming his fears with the help of girragundji, the little green tree frog (ages 10+)
    • Black Cockatoo, Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler The story of Mia, a young Aboriginal girl exploring the fragile connections between family and culture (upper primary, young adult)
    • Two Ways Strong, Indigenous Literacy Foundation A short story published with the help of a group of Aboriginal students about a teenager struggling to adapt to many challenging changes in her life. (for teens)
    • Head to the Magabala books site to help support Australia’s leading Indigenous publisher.

  4. DO: Head to one of the NAIDOC week events happening in your area or host your own! Check out the full list here.

Have your own ideas on how you’ll be celebrating NAIDOC week with your kids? Let us know on social media! Make sure to keep up to date at www.naidoc.org.au and using #NAIDOC2018

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