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Inner Gippsland

First 1000 Days: Co-design session 3

Reflections from the team exploring how to improve outcomes for Aboriginal children in their first 1000 days who live in the Latrobe City Council area 

By Jade Walsh (Anglicare Victoria), team guide & Carolyn Atkins (Vulnerable Children's Reform Unit)

15 March 2017

A child's interpretation of family and relationship to their mob.The Inner Gippsland Children and Youth Area Partnership’s intensive codesign process is developing fresh  approaches to support parents create an environment where their children can thrive.

To reach this goal, our team is focusing on what we can do to support Aboriginal children and their families have a strong connection to culture, so they have the care and support they need to flourish. For the third session on 15 March, we again welcomed some members from our community who contributed much richness to our conversations on the day and the ideas we came up with.

In this third session, we brainstormed almost 50 ideas that we thought would help address the issue we are focused on:

ensuring that Aboriginal children and their families have a strong connection to culture so that they have the care and support they need to thrive.

From this activity, each of the four teams gave a small presentation on what the ideas that they had come up with were. Everyone then put a sticker on the each of the teams’ ideas that they thought was the ‘stickiest’ – the idea they liked the most because it was simple, unexpected, concrete and credible, and because it was one they connected with.

From this exercise, our team took away that our ‘stickiest’ ideas were:

  • Welcome Boorai to country (for all ATSI babies), including such things as possum skins and coolomons
  • Journey through pregnancy: a series of cultural activities with the family throughout the pregnancy, such as shields, and message sticks
  • Connecting Elders with Boorais
  • Tree of life: family trees for ATSI families – this will include finding out the totem and what mob they’re from.

Members from our team have each taken away one of these to work on for our next session in two weeks time (29 March).

As part of developing our ideas, we are very excited that we will be having a series of yarns with Elders in our community about what we are doing and to get their input. We believe what we will take away from these initial yarns will be very insightful and will help us come up with something amazing!

What is making this process work is the incredible team that we have and the additional members from our community that are joining us in our work. We are seriously kicking goals together. Not only are we supportive of one and other, but we continue to push one and other to reach our full potential. It’s inspiring – and when we are all sitting together getting stuck in to the codesign process, we can see just how passionate all those around the table all are about making some much needed changes to our community for our community.