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Conference helps child care workers meet indigenous needs.



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Hon. Larry Anthony, MP Minister for Community Services

 

16 March 2000

CONFERENCE HELPS CHILD CARE WORKERS MEET INDIGENOUS NEEDS

A two-day conference in Townsville for indigenous children's service providers has explored how indigenous child care services need to reflect and understand the cultures of indigenous people.

Federal Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony, commended the conference organisers on the event, which enabled 150 child care providers from around Australia to discuss indigenous child care needs.

"The Government provided funding of $80,000 to the sponsor of the conference, the Queensland Council of Social Service," Mr Anthony said.

"Following the official opening by Chairperson of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Ms Evelyn Scott, service providers participated in specialised workshops, focus groups, discussions and speeches.

"The conference aimed to teach children's service providers new skills and make them aware of the resources they could use in their respective communities.

"Participants explored a diverse range of issues relevant to children of all ages, including indigenous child-rearing practices, child behaviour patterns, child abuse, art, music and language."

The conference theme, 'From little things...big things grow'', was a line from the chorus of a song by indigenous artist, Kev Carmody.

The song documents the power of one person to influence others and achieve a great outcome in the community despite the odds. It emphasises the difference one person can make.

"The Government supports child care providers in recognising and meeting the needs of indigenous families and their children across Australia," Mr Anthony said.

"Indigenous services should include a focus on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. This conference provided the forum to compare and learn about the best ways to do just this."  

Contact: Brendan Cooper - Media Adviser 02 6277 7240     0409 397 349 Email: brendan.cooper@facs.gov.au Web site: www.facs.gov.au