Aspire4Life bags opportunity to help inspire elders of tomorrow

Promoting culture and community connection, a move to
support National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day this week
sees Aspire4Life assisting to inspire leaders of tomorrow.

The theme of the day, “We are the Elders of tomorrow, hear our voice”, honours Elders – custodians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional knowledge, passed down to children through stories of cultural practice.

Aligning with those values and beliefs, Aspire4Life, who partners with government and other like-minded leaders in the community to deliver programs including, My Aged Care Regional Assessment Services, the Department of Veteran Affairs Home Care
Assessment Agency program, and the Department of Health Community Visitors Scheme, has supported the day through Anglicare’s South-East Queensland Jarjums Connect group by promoting Children’s Day bags.

Jarjums provides cultural guidance and learnings to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children placed in non-indigenous foster care, and Cultural Support Officer and Jarjums Connect founder, Lalania Tusa Fa’aaefili said the “SNAICC Bags”
would be a blessing for the children connected through the group.

“Aspire4Life were kind enough to reach out to collaborate with us to and donate the SNAICC bags, which is beneficial for the children as they don’t have a lot of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources in their foster homes,”
Lalania said.

“The bags have games, puzzles, tattoos, booklets and other things related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture and keeping our children safe.

“So, these bags will be a big blessing for them.”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s day is crucial for providing cultural connection

Starting Jarjums (which means children) Connect late last year following a move south from Cairns, Lalania has seen the group take great strides to fill the cultural gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children displaced from their parents and

With 49 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children currently based in the foster care system, Lalania attends every single home to stay connected.

Jarjums, which, prior to current climate restrictions, saw 30 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, meet every second Thursday in Nerang to connect culturally.

Learning about culture, Torres Strait Islander drumming, and Aboriginal song, dance, language, arts, spear and boomerang throwing, and educational activities on traditional medicines, plant uses and artifacts, the group aligns with the key messages behind
Children’s Day.

Leilani said the group allowed kids to explore and immerse in their culture, which helped build strong identities for proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders of the future through formative years in Jarjums, before moving into the Connected
Kids are Strong Kids group, for 11 to 16-year-olds.

“When it comes to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, it’s all about connections to strengthen and help children grow,” Lalania said.

“We also have a lot of traditional owners and volunteers who come to our Jarjums Connect group, so, we’re able to connect kids with elders within the community to help them bridge the gap in cultural connection.”

How Aspire4Life is committed to supporting growth and safety

With the contents of SNAICC Bags aiding and assisting that progress, Leilani said it was crucial for companies like Aspire4Life to continue to reach out and show their support for the growth and safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

“These kids will be elders in a few years’ time, so, we need to help nourish them as much as we can so they can grow into very resilient and strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders,” Lalania said.

“So, it’s very helpful to collaborate with Aspire4life and organisations within the Tweed and Gold Coast, as that helps towards reconciliation for our children growing up in these areas.

“We’ve come a long way, so Aspire4Life’s efforts are a big step forward in working together, promoting awareness, and breaking down barriers.

“The SNAICC Bags will make a big difference in the children’s lives; they’ll be over the moon. So, thanks to Aspire4Llife for helping to make a huge difference.”