From big cities to small remote towns, UNICEF is there to give all of Australia's children a fair chance for a better future.
One such town in the Northern Territory is Borroloola, home to many young children participating in Indi Kindi, a program supported by UNICEF in partnership with the Moriarty Foundation. Led by local Aboriginal women, Indi Kindi aims to give children the best start in life by integrating education, health and wellbeing.
Pat's visit to Borroloola with UNICEF Australia
Australia Ambassador Pat Cummins heads to the outback to meet some incredible kids through the Indi Kindi program in the Northern Territory.
Touchdown in Borroloola
As part of his ambassadorship with UNICEF Australia, Pat spent three days in the Northern Territory, travelling to the remote community of Borroloola to see Indi Kindi in action.
Located 1,289 kilometres from Alice Springs, reaching Borroloola was an arduous journey from Sydney, but Pat and the UNICEF Australia team made it with big smiles and even bigger excitement to meet the children at Indi Kindi.
Changing lives, one child at a time
Indi Kindi is run by local Aboriginal women who teach children on Country.
Pat joins the children in a morning of rock painting, singing, reading and playing.
Under the morning sun, local children enjoyed hiding behind trees and climbing sand dunes while we were at the program.
Indi Kindi is a ground-breaking early years program for children under five in remote Aboriginal communities, integrating health, wellbeing, education and development to give children the best start in life.
Indi Kindi’s classrooms are outdoors. Having the freedom to move means they learn more while also having fun and feeling connected to Country.
A handwashing station is set up close-by to practice good hygiene and wash paint from little hands.
Pat pulls a crowd and reads The Very Hungry Caterpillar to children at Indi Kindi.
"I’ve just been taken through a great lesson here at Indi Kindi. We did some rock painting, some paint on paper, some singing, and playing around the sand in the water. It was great, it’s beautiful here, it’s really peaceful. The kids love it and I feel really lucky to be here and experience it."
Kicking goals, on and off the field
Once the sun begins to set, Pat trades his cricket bat for a football in a friendly match with the children at Indi Kindi's sister program, John Moriarty Football.
John Moriarty Football uses football (soccer) for positive change to improve school attendance, achieve resilient, healthier outcomes and nurture athletic ability.
From 4:30 pm every day, John Moriarty Football brings together children from across Borroloola to have fun, learn healthy habits and enjoy a nutritious meal.
Gathered on benches after a friendly kick-around, local Aboriginal children test Pat on his Rubik’s cube skills.
All smiles after spending a sunny afternoon with friends on the football pitch.
Local children enjoy a hot, nutritious meal prepared by their coaches after football training.
"Education has always been huge in my life. My mum was a teacher, and we were really lucky with the opportunities we had. Indi Kindi is an early year’s program for children under five - building blocks for the rest of the children's lives. Now, with a young 18-month-old son, I know how important it is to give him a good head start in life, and hopefully, we can do something similar here in this program for children in remote communities."
As a UNICEF Australia Ambassador, Pat is passionat about how early education can build a better future for every child.
About Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins is an Australian cricketer, family man and advocate for equal rights. Living in Sydney, Pat has spent much of his life travelling around the world, which has sparked a passion for protecting the world's most vulnerable children.
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