“It’s like having Elders…helping you along....” Cultural Consultant

Gudiance video: Starting conversations

Click below to view the guidance video Starting conversations, which highlights the types of conversations that the animations might trigger around raising and caring for children and describes some of the ways in which the animations could be screened.

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A tool for Aboriginal adults, community members and professionals

This guide is for users who have strong, existing relationships with Aboriginal families and communities and who foster high levels of understanding of what social and emotional wellbeing means to those families and communities. This guide highlights the types of conversations that the animations might trigger around raising and caring for children and describes some of the ways in which the animations could be screened.

Before watching, it is important that viewers are informed that the animations can trigger strong emotions for people who watch them. The animations can raise questions about colonisation and the effects that are present for Aboriginal people today. While the animations aim to present the strengths of Aboriginal people and culture, some of the characters in the animations find themselves in challenging situations. Some viewers might identify with characters in the animations or the situations the characters are in, or the animations might remind viewers of their childhood and trigger both positive and negative memories. It is useful to think about how those feelings could be managed if they do come up. There should be plans in place for debriefing and a support person present for viewers who may be affected by watching the animations. Viewers might decide to speak to somebody they trust after viewing the animations. They might decide to do something nice for themselves or to be around family and friends who might help them with those feelings.

Themes and key messages

There are three different themes that the animations explore:

  1. Cultural Identity
    The animations that cover this theme highlight how children's sense of identity and belonging is supported and strengthened by their connection to family, culture and cultural practices.
  2. Adults Taking Care of Themselves
    The animations that cover this theme highlight the importance of adults looking after their own social and emotional wellbeing and asking for help so they can support childrens wellbeing.
  3. Resilience
    The animations that cover this theme explore the intergenerational passing down of knowledge and experiences and how this is essential in supporting children to develop resilience.

The following table outlines key messages within each of the animations that relate to the themes.

The themes and key messages can be used to help guide conversation around the animations as well as approach the issues surrounding social and emotional wellbeing.



Key Messages

Nanna's Painting

  • Spend time with your Elders
  • Know where you come from
  • Pass on your knowledge

My Grandfather

  • Maintain relationships with significant people in your life
  • Be proud of you and other's life achievements
  • Learn from both school and culture

The Artist

  • Be proud of where you belong and where you come from
  • Find your identity within

Window Shopping

  • Be proud of who you are
  • Making change starts from within
  • Seek guidance


  • Ask for help of you need it
  • Support your children in getting an education

The Spirit

  • Maintain a strong spirit
  • Understand your spirit to strengthen the family's spirit


  • Reconnect to your culture in times of need
  • Find some space to stop and reflect on your life
  • Doing the work of an adult is to keep hope and if you learn that you can make change

The Walk of Life

  • Reverse stress and shame to pride of self, family and culture
  • Include men in the nurturing and parenting of children
  • Fulfil the male role, even though nobody showed you how to do it
  • Reinstate your positive role as a man in family and community
  • Permit male adults to look after themselves

Thank You

  • Pass on values and beliefs to new generations
  • Giving creates comfort in the person in need
  • Giving and caring are key values of our society


  • Find your place in community
  • Be a positive role model for your children and for the community
  • Pass on your family's history to your children
The Job Interview
  • Having a sense of what you are good at is vital during tough times
  • Be there for your wife, kids and family, and support them
  • Don't blame others for the situation you are in

My Father's Words

  • Don't let others make you doubt yourself
  • Listen to the wisdom of your forefathers

Where could you screen the animations?

Aboriginal community groups

Community groups can provide a safe space to screen the animations and talk about some of the themes and key messages contained in them. Women’s and men’s groups, Elder’s groups and Aboriginal interagency groups can provide culturally safe and relevant places for the animations to be played and the topics of the animation approached.

The animations could trigger conversations relevant to the viewers, such as:

  • adults taking care of themselves

  • family and extended family roles in the care of children

  • the role of men in caring for children

  • the role of Elders in caring for children

Schools and early childhood services

Schools and early childhood services with high numbers of Aboriginal students, and who have strong relationships with their families and communities, might screen the animations to children and families. The animations could be screened at parent information sessions, school events where communities and families are attending, staff meetings or to the students in the classroom.

Screening the animations can help set the scene for some of the key messages to be discussed and explored in a culturally safe and relevant context. Key messages that could be discussed are:

  • building a strong sense of identity

  • connecting to culture

  • pride in culture

  • relationships with elders and community members

  • keeping families strong

It is advised that you seek guidance from an Aboriginal person or organisation that your service or school has existing relationships with (such as an Indigenous Professional Support Unit or Aboriginal Education Assistant) when considering screening these animations to children and families at your school or service.

Aboriginal community workers and services

Aboriginal community workers and services might screen the animations to community members who access their service. Aboriginal professionals working across sectors such as health, housing, education and justice could use the animations as a tool to introduce topics relevant to the people they are working with in order to support them in exploring the key messages contained in the animations.

See also

Aboriginal animations: Safety statement

Aboriginal animations: Self reflection tool

Aboriginal animations: Action chart