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      The NSW ACT Inclusion Agency is embarking on a new project around children’s voices about   
      inclusion. We are eager to hear from and reflect the child’s perspective in our work promoting     
      inclusive practice.


     For our first exploration of children's voices, we asked a small number of children aged between 5
     and 11 years from Aboriginal, Anglo-Saxon, Indian and Lebanese cultural backgrounds to tell us
     their thoughts on Australia Day.




    Drawing by Clytie, aged 7
 

What do you think about Australia Day?


“We go to Yabun* with Nanny and some of our cousins and aunties and uncles. There’s dancing and singing. Talking was the boring part. The most fun part I believe was the jumping castle.... It’s Survival Day.” Clytie, aged 7

“I just wear thongs.” Lennox, aged 9

“People like Australia Day because they can celebrate and can do fun things. Sometimes people don’t celebrate it cause they don’t like it. They might feel bad for the Aboriginals.” Leyla, aged 11

“It’s when we have a sausage.” Nelson, aged 11

“I think it’s a good day for everyone to celebrate Australia Day and have fun in Australia.” Tara, aged 7

      *Yabun is a large community day held on Gadigal land.


What do you think Aboriginal people feel about Australia Day?

“They might feel a little bit hurt 'cause Australians took their land away. Some people might celebrate, I don’t really know.” Leyla, aged 11

“We celebrate survival.” Clytie, aged 7

“It’s more like England Day because people have overtaken Australia so it’s not technically Australia Day because other countries have just overtaken.” Nelson aged 11

“Probably don’t really celebrate it and just think ‘Why are people celebrating it?” Cosette, aged 9

“Maybe a bit of sad memories.” Lennox, aged 9

“Sad because they were already there and then they just came over and then, just, attacked ‘em. Not attacked. Came over and; I don’t know.” Cosette, aged 9

“I’m pretty sure they like it because I think they made it. Aboriginals used to live before the Australians.” Anvesha, aged 7

“I’m not sure.” Tara, aged 7

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Drawing by Thea, aged 5
 

Reflective questions for educators

• How do you gather children’s voices around important topics at your service?

• How do you respond to what children say when your opinions and values differ?

• How do children’s voices influence planning and reflective practice at your service?

• What role can educators play in supporting children’s understanding of history and culture?

• How do you include families and your broader community in conversations around challenging concepts?

 

Some resources about the multiple meanings of 26th January for different Australians can be found here:

We would love to hear from you about how you ask children for their thoughts and respond to their questions around any topics relating to inclusion. Talk to your Inclusion Professional about how your service can gather and share children’s voices at your service.

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Drawing by Leyla, aged 11 years