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Maintaining cultural connections

Friday, May 26, 2017

Foster carer, Jade, cares for two Aboriginal children aged 10 and 11 years who she first met through her Family Day Care business when she was asked to care for them for a week. More than a year later, she’s now their full time carer.

Keen that they maintain connection to family, community and culture, Jade, through friends, found Aboriginal mentor and multi-media artist, Andrea. With an understanding of the children’s culture and heritage, and speaking their family’s language, Andrea provides a wonderful connection to family and community.

Jade says it’s all the more important for Aboriginal children to retain their sense of culture and heritage when they’re placed in non-Aboriginal families.

“Having that connection to family through Andrea is really special for both the children. We’re really lucky to have this connection to culture for the children, and as a non-Aboriginal person I’m also learning so much,” said Jade.

In the January school holidays they went on their first family holiday to Mildura to meet extended family and explore the rich Aboriginal culture of the area.

Jade says it’s important for the children to have normal childhood experiences and to feel good about themselves and part of this is helping with literacy and numeracy so they have every opportunity to thrive.

National Reconciliation Week celebrates the relationship shared between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and all other Australians. The theme for 2017 is ‘Let’s Take the Next Steps’ as we work towards reconciliation.

Note: Some names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals