The third “We Grow Them Up Learning Festival”, a forum which celebrates and shares Indigenous and non Indigenous approaches to raising children, was held at the Darwin Convention Centre in the first week in June.
The two day Festival’s objective of “sharing knowledge and learning from each other” is achieved by the exchange of ideas and experience from individuals and teams working in remote communities and a wide range of community groups.
Initiated and developed by Anglicare NT’s Communities for Children East Arnhem and funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the event was attended by representatives from remote communities across East Arnhem Land. Other contributors included Dr Howard Bath the Northern Territory Children’s Commissioner.
Ian Fisher, CEO of Anglicare NT said the Festival program featured some 30 Workshop and “Yarning Mat” sessions in which the objective was to promote discussion on a wide range of topics including diet and nutrition, how to develop and maintain child friendly communities, the role of men in child rearing in remote communities and to compare the different experiences and influences of various communities.
“Essentially it’s about “growing our children strong,” sharing our experiences and learning from each other while reinforcing that sound early childhood development practices are the foundation of leadership skills and self-confidence,” said Ian Fisher.
“The festival was tremendously successful and builds on the knowledge developed and refined over the past three years. This was the first time we have used the Convention Centre as our home for the two days and the feedback from participants about the venue and staff was overwhelmingly positive and contributed hugely to its success,” Mr Fisher added.
Malu Barrios, General Manager of the Darwin Convention Centre “The Centre was particularly privileged to be selected to host the event for the first time.”
“It was inspiring to see the genuine interest and desire from the participants to maximise their involvement, gaining as much as possible from this mentoring, educational and bonding initiative.” said Mrs Barrios.