What is National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day?

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day (NAICD) is held every year on 4 August and is dedicated to celebrating the value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children within both families and communities.

Running for more than 30 years, this is an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to celebrate the strengths and culture of their children, and for all Australians to learn about the crucial role that culture, family and community play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child.

Here’s what you need to know about this important national day, as well as some ideas for getting involved.

History of the Day

Children’s Day has been run annually since 1988, and is an initiative of the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), a national organisation that provides a voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

It is a day of celebration and pride for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, which was originally created to communally mark the birthdays of children in orphanages and institutions who did not know their real dates of birth due to being taken from their families at a young age. It was intended to give these children – the Stolen Generations – confidence, and to make them feel special and included.

NAICD has since grown significantly, becoming a major event in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and community organisations.

Ways You Can Celebrate ‘My Dreaming, My Future’ – This Year’s Theme

Every year, NAICD has a different theme, with the 2022 one being, ‘My Dreaming, My Future.’ This theme reflects the experience Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have as they are born into stories of their families, culture and Country. They carry the song lines of their ancestors and their Dreaming is a part of their history – with their future their own to shape.

This year, we ask our children what Dreaming means to them and teach them to interpret this into their lives and identities. There are more than 500 Children’s Day events held across Australia each year, including cultural events, storytelling, open days, morning teas, arts and crafts, concerts and community barbecues.

For people who can safely gather with others, here are some great ideas:

  • Organise a picnic, sporting event or activities for children and young people
  • Hold a fundraising event for children in your community
  • Have a flag raising ceremony with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags
  • Bring Elders, families and their children together in your school or neighbourhood for storytelling and cultural activities.

For those needing to social distance, some of the other ways you can celebrate include:

  • Share the Children’s Day website on your social media feed, website or in your email signature to raise awareness amongst your family, friends and colleagues
  • Post a picture on social media showing how your child/children are connecting to their culture using the hashtags #ProudInCulture #StrongInSpirit #NATSIChildrensDay 
  • Learn more about the day through a range of educational resources, activities, posters, images and videos available here – and don’t forget to share them with others.

How are you going to celebrate this Children’s Day? We’d love to hear about your plans.

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