Every child deserves to grow up with the foundations they need to thrive. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, it is essential they have access to the opportunities and support needed to ensure their healthy development and wellbeing. When we think about giving children a better future, reconciliation plays a crucial role.
UNICEF Australia has a vision for a reconciled Australia. And we are working towards a fair and equitable country for all children to grow up in.
Through programs with our partners for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, UNICEF Australia is committed to working with communities, ensuring that all children get the best start in life.
1. For every child, birth registration: Pathfinders
Imagine a world where an everyday task such as attending school, opening a bank account, and obtaining a driver's licence hangs in the balance of a simple piece of paper – a birth certificate. For many Australians without their birth registered, this is their reality.
To help address this issue, UNICEF Australia joined forces with Pathfinders, a community-based organisation supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to obtain birth certificates or register births through their National Aboriginal Birth Certificate program.
To date, UNICEF Australia has supported six community roadshow events, registering over 500 births across NSW and the ACT through this partnership. Our ultimate ambition is achieving universal birth registration for every child in Australia, no matter what.
2. For every child, education: Indi Kindi
The first day of school holds tremendous significance in the lives of children and parents, etching memories that last a lifetime. It marks the beginning of a lifelong journey of learning, with early childhood education serving as a solid foundation for little ones to develop skills that will help them build better futures.
Sadly, many Aboriginal children living in remote communities across Australia have limited access to early childhood education and development programs. In 2018, 86 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander four-year-olds were enrolled in early childhood education, compared to 91 per cent in the broader population.
To help close this gap, UNICEF Australia partnered with Moriarty Foundation to expand their groundbreaking early childhood education program, Indi Kindi.
A community-led initiative, Indi Kindi aims to give children in remote areas the best possible start to life and prepare them for school by integrating education, health and wellbeing. Through inclusive and culturally appropriate early childhood education, children can develop a love and interest in learning.
Indi Kindi Program
In 2022, key achievements from the Indi Kindi program included:
- Delivering the new Aboriginal Early Years program on Country in two new communities for children under five in Tennant Creek and Mungkarta.
- Training educators in Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care.
3. For every child and young person, sports for development: Binar Futures
Sport isn't just good for physical activity but is also a powerful tool to enrich young minds and teach important life skills.
In an exciting new partnership, UNICEF is working with Binar Futures in Western Australia to support Aboriginal youth aged 9-18 years experiencing disadvantage through a Sports for Development program that improves social and emotional wellbeing and provides a stronger sense of cultural identity, pride, connection and belonging.
One young person who experienced Binar's innovative programs firsthand is Nes’eya Parker-Williams, a Binar youth mentor and current player for the Joondalup Wolves.
Her basketball journey started with Binar Sports at the age of 14. Through the program, Nes’eya's technical and professional skills developed and four years later, she landed herself a spot in the Women's National Basketball League for the Perth Lynx team.
For Nes'eya, Binar Sports has changed her life in more ways than one, giving her the chance to grow her skills, both on and off the court.
"Binar to me is not just a sporting organisation, there’s way more to it. It’s made me realise I have a second family, also becoming a leader and role model for the younger generation made me feel welcomed and I can be myself."
Through partnerships just like this one, we can invest in the potential of our young people in more ways than one.
A fair future for every child
The words of the Uluru Statement are powerful, "When we have power over our destiny, our children will flourish."
Through partnerships for impact and amplifying the voices of children and young people, we can help create futures where all children can thrive and prosper.
Stay up-to-date on UNICEF's work in Australia and around the world
20 Sept 2023
This is what climate change looks like around the world
Over one billion children around the world are at extremely high risk of the impacts of climate change. That is nearly half of the world's children. And it is happening today.
13 Sept 2023
2023 Libya Flood Crisis | What you need to know
From the recent earthquake in Morocco to the unfolding tragedy in Libya, UNICEF is always there to help children and families recover from crises.
9 Sept 2023
What you need to know about the 2023 Marrakesh–Safi Earthquake in Morocco
As stories of heartbreak and survival emerge from the devastating earthquake in Morocco, thousands of children and families remain at risk. Before, during and after an emergency UNICEF is always there.
13 Aug 2023
Two years on, the crisis continues for children in Afghanistan
It has been two years since the Taliban seized power, yet Afghanistan - already marked by decades of insecurity and natural disasters - is still in crisis.
3 Aug 2023
Kangaroo Care: nurturing parents, protecting babies, changing lives
Every parent, no matter where they are, wants their child to have a healthy start in life. Find out how a simple, cost-effective and high-impact intervention is saving newborn lives in Vanuatu
27 Apr 2023
Voice to Parliament: three allies tell us why they’re voting yes
UNICEF Australia Young Ambassadors, Emily, Kbora and Harrison are passionate about advocating for children's rights and promoting social justice. Find out why our Young Ambassadors support the Voice to Parliament and why they believe it is important to recognise the rights of First Nations peoples in Australia.
12 Jan 2023
Rebuilding lives, one year on in Tonga
A year on from when an underwater volcano erupted off the coast of Tonga, the country is well on the road to recovery, but the impact on this South Pacific nation was far-reaching.
18 Dec 2022
The crisis you’ve never heard of: stunting
Across the world, almost 8 million children are at risk of irreversible outcomes from severe acute malnutrition if they don’t receive immediate treatment.
1 Dec 2022
More than just a Christmas stocking filler. A life-saver.
We all know someone who is hard to buy for. Maybe they already “have all they need” or you just can’t think of something creative, or special to get them.
9 Nov 2022
These six young climate activists demand action and inspire hope
As the world witnesses the dramatic weather events unfolding around the world, there are increasingly more young people demanding action.
18 Aug 2022
We won’t forget them. One year since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan.
On 15 August 2021, the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan and UNICEF pledged to stay and deliver. After decades of unrest and natural disaster, the country remains in crisis, and it’s a child rights crisis.