National Reconciliation Week is a great time for you and your little one to learn about and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and stories. When you show your child that you value the rich history, diversity and ongoing contributions of our First Nations peoples, you’re helping inspire them to do the same.
About National Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week focuses on building respectful, positive relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It’s about all communities learning more about the history and cultures of the First Peoples of this land. The date is the same each year: 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones: the 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.
This year's theme is “More than a word. Reconciliation takes action”. It’s a reminder that we can all join in and support Australia’s journey towards reconciliation. Highlighting and sharing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, stories and cultures with your little one is a great way for your family to take action.
You can also set a great example and demonstrate respect and kindness with everyone that you interact with. Talk to your child about why your actions are important as they show others how you feel about them.
It might feel overwhelming or hard to talk about issues related to why we need reconciliation, and you might worry about saying the wrong thing. But acknowledging and celebrating diversity and having positive discussions with your child can have a lasting impact on their future attitudes towards cultural diversity.
To learn more about National Reconciliation Week, visit the official website.
Learn more about the traditional owners of your area
You and your child might like to look at State Library of Queensland’s interactive language map and learn more about the First Peoples where you live. You might even learn how to say hello in an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language, learn the names of some familiar animals in local languages or find out some Torres Strait Islander everyday words.
Books to inspire conversation about reconciliation
Remember it’s never too early to start building positive relationships and an understanding of First Nations culture and relationships with country with your little one. You might like to use the following books as a conversation starter:
My culture and me by Greg Dreise
The coloured echidna by Eunice Day
Landing with wings by Trace Balla
My people by Billie-Jean Taylor
Further reading for grown-ups
First 5 Forever (2021) Using books to help you talk with your child about race.
Jennings-Edquist, Grace (2020) How to talk to toddlers and young children about racism. ABC Everyday.
Turnbull, Samantha (2020) How to raise culturally aware kids. ABC Everyday.
Sesame Workshop (2020) Coming together: talking to children about race and identity.
Steiner, Meredith (2018) Talking with young children (0-5) about race. Association for Library Service to Children.
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