National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day Posted on Friday 4 August 2023 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day is an annual celebration, thoughtfully organised and promoted by the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC). As the national organisation advocating for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, SNAICC plays a vital role in championing their rights, safety, and overall wellbeing. This occasion first came to life in 1988, driven by a compassionate motive. Many Indigenous children found themselves in orphanages and institutions, unaware of their own birthdays. To address this concern, Children’s Day was established as a special day each year dedicated to celebrating the birthdays of these beloved children. In doing so, it instilled a sense of belonging, recognition, and joy. Through the efforts of SNAICC and the collaborative spirit of communities nationwide, Children’s Day serves as a powerful reminder of the need to nurture and protect the rights and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. St Leonard’s College actively engages in this collective commitment to creating a brighter and more inclusive future for these children, ensuring they grow up feeling valued, cherished, and empowered to pursue their dreams. The St Leonard’s College Foundation, underpinned by the generosity of our community, supports the education of Indigenous students through our scholarship program, providing them with the tools and opportunities they need to flourish. These scholarships allow Indigenous students to pursue their goals and reach their full potential. The impact of these scholarships is already evident, with two Indigenous students having successfully graduated from St Leonard’s College. Their achievements serve as a heart warming testament to the transformative power of education and the invaluable support provided by the Foundation and the College community. These graduates now stand as inspiring role models within their Warruwi community. Looking ahead to the end of 2023, the College eagerly anticipates the graduation of a third Indigenous student. In 2024, we look forward to the commencement of three more Indigenous students from the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS), further affirming the positive impact of our scholarship program. Beyond financial aid, St Leonard’s College is devoted to creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all our students. Cultural awareness and understanding are actively promoted, fostering a space where Indigenous children can feel valued, respected, safe and free to embrace their heritage. We recognise that these students enrich our College community in profound ways and we are grateful for their contribution. St Leonard’s College joins in acknowledging National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, with a deep commitment to honouring the vibrant culture and spirit of Indigenous children. Through our scholarships and an inclusive approach to education, we endeavour to empower these young individuals, acknowledging the potential they hold and their invaluable contributions to our society. Embracing the spirit of Children’s Day, we remain dedicated to nurturing the dreams of all children, aiming to create a nurturing and supportive environment where they can flourish and make a positive impact on the world. If you would like to learn more about our Foundation’s Scholarship Program and hear from some of our scholars directly, please click here The photo below demonstrates how National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day was recognised in our ELC by reading one of the Little J and Big Cuz stories. The ACER Little J & Big Cuz Initiative was developed with Aboriginal worldviews and acknowledges the Early Years Learning Framework (2009). This focused partnership between Western knowledge and Aboriginal knowledge intends to strengthen Aboriginal early childhood education – and is a great way for our children to develop their understandings.