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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons.

What does Children’s Ground actually do?

Children’s Ground is a First Nations organisation ending injustice and disadvantage. We deliver an innovative approach to education, health and employment services for our families. It is designed, delivered and evaluated by us – the community.

Five key pillars of wellbeing drive the Children’s Ground Approach, connecting our communities with culturally-safe services and support to live amazing lives. 

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Are you an Aboriginal organisation?

Yes. The Board of Children’s Ground has made a clear decision to be incorporated under the Corporation Act as a First Nations organisation rather that the CATSI Act (Corporations Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2006).  

All organisation registered under CATSI Act are First Nations organisations or ACCOs. Not all organisations registered under the Corporations Act are ACCOs. Children’s Ground is an ACCO incorporated under the Corporations Act.  

  1. Children’s Ground is a public company limited by guarantee, incorporated in 2011 under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – (Corporations Act)
  2. Children’s Ground is eligible to transfer its registration from the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – (Corporations Act) to the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 CATSI Act.  

Children’s Ground meets the key requirement for registration under CATSI that the majority of directors must: 

  • be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander 
  • be members of the corporation

Our corporate Board of Directors is comprised of over 50% First Nations people including the Chair of our Board.  

The CATSI Act was created as a special measure to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders with additional supports, less onerous requirements and special conditions.  

Our First Nations board members and community leaders wish to be incorporated under the Corporations Act for the following reasons: 

  • Both the Corporations Act and the CATSI Act laws are of a Western construct. 
  • As a First Nations organisation, our First nations governance wants to compete at the highest level or accountability and governance and believe the Corporations Act provides this 
  • As First Nations leaders we do not want to be told that we are only legitimate if we subscribe to an imposed colonised structure that defines us (CATSI). We have a long history of being defined by others. Our identity as a First Nations organisation should be valued within the Corporations Act. We hold onto this right. 
  • We meet all key requirements of ACCOs in our majority membership and directorship. In addition we recognise our own laws of the land in each community.  
  • We want to champion policy change within Government and showcase Principles of Dual Governance, a new governance model.  

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    Are you a school?

    We are not a registered school but we employ qualified Early Childhood educators and work in partnership with local schools. Our First Nations educators are recognised as teachers within their communities and cultural responsibilities. First Nations education systems have continued for over 65,000 years. We are continuing this system of education while partnering and working with the mainstream system. We offer high-quality, culturally safe and responsive Early Childhood education where children are learning through their First Language and culture as well as English. 

    What makes Children’s Ground different from other not-for-profits?

    • We know that change will take time, so we walk alongside each child for an entire generation 
    • We are not a ‘quick fix’ or program-based model 
    • We invest in prevention, rather than crisis 
    • We are collecting an evidence base to influence systemic change at a national level 
    • Our two-tiered governance system places equal emphasis on First Nations governance and Western corporate governance structures 
    • We are designed, delivered and led locally. We are placed-based, meaning we are part of community life (not a service but delivered by and within) 

      Which communities do you work with?

      In Central Australia, communities deliver Children’s Ground on Central, Eastern and Western Arrernte Country, in and around Mparntwe (Alice Springs).

      • Mpweringke Anapipe (Northern Outstations, North of Mparntwe) 
      • Irrkerlantye (East of Mparntwe) 
      • Uyenpere Atwatye (Hidden Valley Town Camp, Mparntwe) 
      • Yarrenyty Arltere (Larrapinta Valley Town Camp, Mparntwe) 
      • Amengkwerne (Amoonguna community, East of Mparntwe) 

      In the Top End of the Northern Territory, we are led by communities on Larrakia Country in Garramilla (Darwin) and Bolmo Country: 

      •  Marlkawo (West Arnhem Land) 
      • Knuckey’s Lagoon (Town Camp, Garramilla) 
      • 15 Mile (Town Camp, Garramilla) 
      • Minmarama  (Town Camp, Garramilla) 

      In Naarm (Melbourne) where our Shared Office is located, we foster relationships with the Wurundjeri community of the Kulin Nation.

      We support First Nations educators around the Country through our work with Utyerre Apanpe (First Nations Educators’ Network). 

      How is Children’s Ground tracking against the Closing The Gap Targets?

      The Australian Government was not able to make progress on most of its original Closing the Gap targets. In the Northern Territory, Closing the Gap outcomes have been the worst across the Country. In 2020, they decided on a new set of targets.

      Children’s Ground is making change where Government has failed. While First Nations school attendance and employment is at disastrously low levels in the mainstream system, Children’ Ground is showing great outcomes in connecting children to high quality, culturally appropriate education and creating lasting employment.

      We are not only working towards closing the gap but preventing the gap from ever opening for the next generation of First Nations children. 

      I would like to set up a recurring donation! What do I do?

      Amazing! Your support is vital to our work. Go to our donate page and select the amount and frequency of your donation.

      Donate today

      When I donate, where does my money go?

      When you donate, you are directly supporting our community-led approach to changing the future for First Nations children. Program delivery accounts for the vast majority (80%) of our expenditure. The remainder supports the administrative management of the organisation (e.g. Finance, HR, IT, Communications, Fundraising etc).

      Your donation will support our children and families in early childhood education, health, culture and language preservation and support Children’s Ground to run an effective and accountable organisation.

      I want to volunteer! What do I do?

      Great! Please email to discuss your skills, experience and our vacancies.

      Do you have any jobs available?

      Keep an eye on the ‘Work With Us’ page on our website. This is where we list all our employment opportunities.

      Work with us

      Where can I go to learn more about First Nations culture?

      Visit the Watch, Read and Language Resources pages on our website to learn about First Nations culture and issues.

      Follow Children’s Ground on social media:

      Facebook | LinkedInInstagramTwitter | @childrensground