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By Andrea Andres
28 May 2023

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.  

Cricketer Pat Cummins reading book to three Australian Indigenous children

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

A man stands next to sign on the road. © UNICEF Australia/2023/Hill

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

A woman sitting on the ground holding a toddler in her arms.© UNICEF Australia/2023/Hill

Indi Kindi is run by local Aboriginal women who teach children on Country.

A group of adults and children sitting on the ground reading books.© UNICEF Australia/2023/Hill

Pat joins the children in a morning of rock painting, singing, reading and playing.

A young child extends his hands towards the camera. © UNICEF Australia/2023/Hill

Under the morning sun, local children enjoyed hiding behind trees and climbing sand dunes while we were at the program.

A smiling child peeks from behind a tree. © UNICEF Australia/2023/Hill

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.

A young child waves at the camera. © UNICEF Australia/2023/Hill

Indi Kindi’s classrooms are outdoors. Having the freedom to move means they learn more while also having fun and feeling connected to Country.

Two instructors teach two young children how to use a handwashing station next to the river. © UNICEF Australia/2023/Hill

A handwashing station is set up close-by to practice good hygiene and wash paint from little hands.

A young man sits on the ground and reads a book to three children. © UNICEF Australia/2023/Hill

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."

Pat Cummins
UNICEF Australia Ambassador

Kicking goals, on and off the field

A young man plays football with a group of children. © UNICEF Australia/2023/Hill

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.

A young smiling boy sits on the grass. © UNICEF Australia/2023/Hill

John Moriarty Football uses football (soccer) for positive change to improve school attendance, achieve resilient, healthier outcomes and nurture athletic ability.

A group of children smile sit on the grass and smile at the camera. © UNICEF Australia/2023/Hill

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.

A group of children and a young man sitting on a bench.© UNICEF Australia/2023/Hill

Gathered on benches after a friendly kick-around, local Aboriginal children test Pat on his Rubik’s cube skills.

A child sits on a bench and smiles at the camera. © UNICEF Australia/2023/Hill

All smiles after spending a sunny afternoon with friends on the football pitch.

A group of children gather on benches and listen to a young man telling stories. © UNICEF Australia/2023/Hill

Local children enjoy a hot, nutritious meal prepared by their coaches after football training.

A young man smiles at the ground, standing on a grass field. © UNICEF Australia/2023/Hill

"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."

Pat Cummins
UNICEF Australia Ambassador

As a UNICEF Australia Ambassador, Pat is passionate about how early education can build a better future for every child.

A young man © UNICEF Australia/Supplied

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.