#FAMILIESAREFIRST – celebrating more than 60,000 years of parenting wisdom

media release

A project sharing the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families raising children in strong communities, has launched today at Parliament House. 

The Queensland Family and Child Commission’s Families are First movement aims to ‘change the landscape’ by celebrating the strengths and sharing the wisdom of more than 60,000 years of parenting in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

QFCC Principal Commissioner, Cheryl Vardon, said the movement will highlight the role of family structures and kinship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their connection to country, in bringing up children. 

“All Queensland families want the best for their children and it’s important we listen to the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families who are raising the adults of tomorrow,” Ms Vardon said. “It’s also vital that we understand the challenges arising from historical events and how families and communities find ways to overcome issues.” 

QFCC Commissioner, Phillip Brooks – a proud Bidjara, Kairi and Ducabrook man – said he is keen to shine a light on how strong cultural values over the past 60,000 years can shape a positive future narrative for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to build strong families in the face of unique challenges. “In my own conversations with families, I hear a lot about how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture plays a big role in strengthening support systems and encouraging children and young people to understand their obligations to family and community,” Mr Brooks said. “In Queensland, 95.4 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged between zero and 17, live with their families who support, safeguard and enable their wellbeing and that of other children within their community and it is time we celebrate these stories and work together to change the narrative. Certainly, my experience is that culture is key in developing a ‘whole of family’ approach to raising kids, and I think that has a really positive effect on young people.” 

Mr Brooks has encouraged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to share their stories and become part of a Families are First movement in Queensland.  

The Families are First movement will visit areas of regional Queensland in the coming year. 

For more, visit: qfcc.qld.gov.au/familiesarefirst
 

15 August 2019