KidsMatter, in partnership with key Aboriginal cultural consultants, has developed a series of animations and guidance resources to support the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal children, and to help to foster resilience in Aboriginal children.
In creating the animations, KidsMatter worked with a group of highly respected cultural consultants from Victoria and Central Australia who drew on their own life and professional experiences to contribute deep understandings of social and emotional wellbeing from an Indigenous worldview.
Two key factors in developing a person’s resilience are a sense of belonging to a community, and a nurturing relationship with at least one parent or carer. For many Aboriginal communities, the role of caring for children is shared by many extended family members and is a strength in supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal children. For example, in addition to their relationship with their parents, Aboriginal children may also seek nurturing from an Auntie, or seek boundary setting from a Grandfather.
The Aboriginal animations that are focussed on resilience explore the intergenerational passing down of knowledge from one generation of family members to another, which fosters a sense of belonging to community, culture and country as a way of developing resilience. They look at passing on values and beliefs, the importance of caring for each other and passing family history down to the children.
These animations, along with another eight animations focussed on cultural identity and adults taking care of themselves, are intended to start conversations within communities about supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal children. KidsMatter, the Aboriginal consultants and psychologists have also developed a series of guidance resources, including three videos to keep viewers safe and help people decide the best way to use the animations.
Whilst the animations have been developed specifically for Aboriginal communities, there are many themes that are common to all families.
Psychologist, Dr Lyn O’Grady, KidsMatter National Project Manager at the Australian Psychological Society says, “I think a non- Aboriginal audience will engage with these videos too because they’re universal. The messages speak to all of us; as parents, as people, as just being human. These videos will speak to us all”.
Carmen Naivalu was one of the Indigenous psychologists engaged by KidsMatter to provide feedback in the context of contemporary research in Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing. She says, “It’s a kind of journey that the viewer is supposed to go on, and find some kind of personal meaning, in themselves, about what this animation is about.”
The animations and guidance resources are available here.