My colleague is notoriously bad at remembering names – anyone would be good in comparison – but he says that I possess a ‘freakish skill’ of being able to do so. So, it became a bit of a game when we’d meet a new group of children. Everyone in the room would introduce themselves and my colleague would then select a few children at random and I’d have to recite their names on the spot.
When I was wrong, it was often accompanied by awkward groans and laughter at just how embarrassingly wrong I was. But when I succeeded, with most or all of the children’s names right, it was so often accompanied by a look of total awe on their faces – I can’t be sure, but I do wonder if it’s because they felt acknowledged, or noticed, or valued for who they are.
"When I succeeded, with most or
all of the children's names right, it
was so often accompanied by a
look of total awe on their faces..."
I can still remember so many of the names of the children we met. I can remember their personal stories, their resilience, and what it felt like to have their trust. And none of this is surprising – it’s the kind of thing you just can’t forget.
Australia owes all its children the best it has to give, and we are not giving them nearly enough. It’s time to make that fair chance for our children less of a gamble, and more of a reality for all children in Australia.
Click the link to read what Aussie kids have to say.