In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, culture is embedded in all aspects of life

Our Cultural & Creative Development and Wellbeing platform is no different. It is felt in everything we do.

Everything comes from the land, so much of our work is based on the land. The following are a few examples of how this happens in practice:

  • Learning on country prioritized
  • Families reignited traditional dance practices and incorporated them into learning activities
  • Cultural and Creative development inspire our social enterprises

The Children’s Ground Approach is guided by many Elders over many years both from Central Australia and the Top End. Their leadership is crucial in everything we do.

Learning activities, health promotion and community empowerment include Cultural & Creative Development. For example, we embed First Nations traditional health practices into learning activities. Cultural health specialists support the health and wellbeing of children and their families. Children spend time on country, where they connect to the land and collect bush medicine. They learn First Language and practice cultural dance and song.

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Creative activities help make learning fun for children. But they are more than that. They are used in therapeutic approaches to wellbeing. All learning sessions include creative expression. Painting, drawing, working with clay, and other artistic outlets allow children, young people and adults to engage in calm, healing activities together.

Additionally, Elders support the development of younger staff. They serve as role models who share their cultural knowledge. Their guidance is central to the design, delivery and evaluation of our work.

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We are directed today in our cultural work by Elder and law woman MK Turner OAM. She is a founder of Ampe-kenhe Ahelhe.

Her book Iwenhe Tyerrtye: What it means to be an Aboriginal Person (compiler Barry McDonald, IAD Press, 2010) is a critical guide.

Her work, Forever Rising From and with Country outlines the Arrernte world view. This provides an overview of the First Nations educational, health, governance and social systems that underpin our work.