Now is a crucial time to infuse culture, support and community for our children and for all children. Especially necessary as Dawe says, who speaks from the Aboriginal and Torre Straight Islander perspective, speaking of the impact of trauma,
Dawe told Guardian Australia it “made him cry” to see how high the rates of despair were among young Indigenous people. Dawe said. “There needs to be culturally appropriate, empathetic and holistic programs that have been built within the community themselves and driven by the young people and engaged with our elders.
“I believe having culture at the heart of a service gives a young person a feeling of belonging, hope, connection, fulfilment and purpose in their lives.
“We seriously need to act promptly, proactively and collectively as a nation to address this critical problem.”
Questions you may want to ask yourself or your organizations, business, service:
- What or how is my organization supporting vulnerable youth and children?
- What can my organization do?
- How can I give back to a program that supports youth and children?
- What and how can I be a role model or mentor?
- How can I support culturally appropriate programs that benefit the community I live in, that I serve, that serves all children?
- How can I help to support life long relationships, support, lifelines?
- What and how does this look?
I am reminded of this work that I did.
When I took on this project, I had no clue about quilts or sewing. When I gathered quilting fabric and materials at the sewing store, I was laughed at by a local quilter for thinking it be easy to build a quilt. The truth is, I knew we’d do this as a team. And this we totally did. I knew from my contact who was helping to support me that the Elders loved to do activities together and especially creative activities. I also knew, we’d work together, and our project would be a unique one.
One of my favourite thing was when we built our self portraits, which was the basis for the quilt activity. I took a Reggio learning activity, Reggio being one of my favourite early learning. Building self portraits was and is so important for all of us. What and how we perceive ourselves, how we are known in the community and in our families? What stories do we share? What are our favourite colours? Places? Partners? Lovers? Children? How do we see ourselves? What is important to us? What are events in your life that you want to share about? What do you love to do?
What was shared by the Elders was phenomenal. I learned so many stories from them, that they could fill volumes. If you get a chance, you can see the quilt at the Friendship Centre in the basement where they run their programs which really is a niche for them.
Using this model to work with the Elders was really inspiring. During my time with them we worked in different spaces with them including the Baggage Arts Building, The Art Gallery. I still work with the Elders in my work, and really believe in the work of Loris Malaguzz is built on a solid foundation of philosophical principles and extensive experiences and is truly a way of building something solid.
The work with the Elders was so much, and there is still so much to explore and build upon,