We have been in a reflective mood lately at Magellan. Sometimes it’s important to pause and reevaluate what’s important to us and what we are grateful for. We only had to look around our offices to realise what is all too easy to forget – our very real privilege. Sure things aren’t perfect – nothing is. But our daily gripes and grumbles are petty compared with the disadvantage many people in Australia experience daily, especially our First Nations people.
We know that inequality is a huge social, health and economic problem. So we started looking for a way we could make difference to the lives of people; not just in the short term, but to support a robust program that makes a real impact on the ground.
For this reason, we are very pleased to announce that we have established a partnership with Children’s Ground. We hope this will build into a long-term, two-way relationship of learning and support with lots of opportunities for Magellan staff to become involved.
The latest Closing the Gap report with only two of the nine targets on track after eleven years and the Western Australia inquiry into mental health and wellbeing of young people finding of a 32% increase in the First Nations suicide rate from 1998 to 2015 reinforces our decision is the right one.
At Children’s Ground, First Nations people are leading the way in their own communities – designing and delivering in early childhood, education, health, employment, safety, and culture. In a short few years, they are seeing changes in employment, early childhood engagement, and wellbeing. They are focused on stopping the gap from even beginning for the next generation of children.
But this is a long road and they are not yet operating at the level they know is required to prevent this gap in the long term. They need help.
Please visit their website to learn more.
A bit about Children’s Ground
Children’s Ground is a community-led organisation seeking to end entrenched inequity and disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. They work with First Nations families facing the greatest disadvantage, to realise their aspirations for the next generation of children to grow up happy and health, with agency over their social, cultural, political and economic future.
Their work is important as there are too many communities in crisis due to failed social policy, the impact of colonisation and intergenerational trauma. Considerable efforts made in recent decades, by many people of goodwill, have failed to overcome this crisis. In many ways, the situation has actually deteriorated.
Children’s Ground brings together the services that respond to the life of a child and their journey to adulthood. Their approach celebrates the strength and knowledge of the oldest living languages and cultures in the world. Working with each child in a community and their family, Children’s Ground integrates early childhood learning and education, family health and wellbeing, employment, training and enterprise development, creative arts and cultural development and community development.
Children’s Ground’s grassroots practice and experience is underpinned by leading international evidence and practice. Through genuine partnerships that place leadership and decision-making in the hands of the community, we know change is possible and children will thrive.
With a support office in Melbourne, Children’s Ground works with three Arrernte communities in Central Australia (two town camps and a cluster of outstations north of Alice Springs) and with Bininj families on remote outstations in West Arnhem in the Top End of the Northern Territory.
We know the issues affecting our First Nations people are many and complex and are looking forward to working with Children’s Ground to learn more and discover all the ways we can help them achieve their goals. In the first instance, our contribution is financial with a significant donation to them last Christmas. Our staff are also sourcing donations of school supplies and drink bottles for use by children, their families, and teachers in remote communities.