We love the Garma Youth Declaration 2019
Following the ‘Uluru Statement From The Heart’, in 2019, a group of young Indigenous people have gathered in East Arnhem Land for the Youth Forum at Garma. The forum has been facilitated by AIME and resulted in a Declaration for the Prime Minister and Education Minister’s across Australia – The Imagination Declaration. This message was read out by Sienna on August 5, 10:00am at the 2019 Garma festival.
To the Prime Minister & Education Ministers across Australia,
In 1967, we asked to be counted.
In 2017, we asked for a voice and treaty.
Today, we ask you to imagine what’s possible.
The future of this country lies in all of our hands.
We do not want to inherit a world that is in pain. We do not want to stare down huge inequality feeling powerless to our fate. We do not want to be unarmed as we confront some of the biggest problems faced by the human race, from rising sea levels, which will lead to significant refugee challenges, to droughts and food shortages, and our own challenges around a cycle of perpetuated disadvantaged.
It’s time to think differently.
With 60,000 years of genius and imagination in our hearts and minds, we can be one of the groups of people that transform the future of life on earth, for the good of us all.
We can design the solutions that lift islands up in the face of rising seas, we can work on creative agricultural solutions that are in sync with our natural habitat, we can re-engineer schooling, we can invent new jobs and technologies, and we can unite around kindness.
We are not the problem, we are the solution.
We don’t want to be boxed.
We don’t want ceilings.
We want freedom to be whatever a human mind can dream.
When you think of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kid, or in fact, any kid, imagine what’s possible. Don’t define us through the lens of disadvantage or label us as limited.
Expect the best of us.
Expect the unexpected.
Expect us to continue carrying the custodianship of imagination, entrepreneurial spirit and genius.
Expect us to be complex.
And then let us spread our wings, and soar higher than ever before.
We call on you and the Education Ministers across the nation to establish an imagination agenda for our Indigenous kids and, in fact, for all Australian children.
We urge you to give us the freedom to write a new story.
We want to show the world Aboriginal genius.
Over the coming months we’ll be sharing the declaration with thousands of Indigenous kids across our nation and together we’ll stand to say, “set an imagination agenda for our classrooms, remove the limited thinking around our disadvantage, stop looking at us as a problem to fix, set us free to be the solution and give us the stage to light up the world.”
We want the Imagination agenda in every school in the nation, from early childhood learning centres through to our most prominent universities.
To our Prime Minister & Education Ministers, we call on you to meet with us and to work on an imagination plan for our country’s education system, for all of us.
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Here is a simplified version of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is important to know your rights and the right of the people around you.
“Australia Is a Bigger Cage”
After a national campaign in 2018, hundreds and thousands of refugee and asylum seeker children were brought to Australia. But their scars remain even after leaving Nauru.
These young children need all the nurturing and security they can get right now. These children turn into adults and we’re already actively creating a sub-generation of deeply traumatised adults who may never achieve their potential on any level. Is that what we want as a country – to be creating further problems, rather than working towards a solution?
Australia’s Culture of Racism
More than 50 per cent of people, between 11 and 19-years-old, believe Australia has a culture of racism.
Sometimes you get like occasional looks at you or sometimes like whispering behind your back and you just feel really bad, because you feel like you’re different and people feel like you’re different from them – year 10 student Tiana told SBS News.
'No you can't play because you're a terrorist'
A group of kids told 10-year-old Munsimar Kaur ‘No you can’t play because you’re a terrorist’ at a playground in London.
Munsimar Kaur posted a video to Twitter about her heartbreaking experience.
Racist Park @GLL_UK
— Sikh Dad (@sikhdad) August 8, 2019
The key thing is to educate people and that way others will think twice before doing things like this maybe because they will realise we have a voice, and we’re not afraid to use that voice – Gurpreet Singh, Kaur’s father
11-year-old Ruben Martinez sparked the viral #ElPasoChallenge to honour the August 3, 2019, shooting victims by doing a good deed for each life lost.
Behind Every Number Is a Student
A survey by Australian National University has found that racial and religious intolerance is highly evident in primary and secondary schools.
Over 40% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students reported racial discrimination from teachers.
Schools are Microcosms of Wider Society
I think Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and ethnic minority communities have been telling us for a long time that racism is part of their everyday lived experience – Naomi Priest, Australian National University
We Are Connected
Children from both sides are allowed to play together on seesaws on the Mexico and New Mexico border. This was a response by a pair of Californian professors as President Donald Trump plans to build a wall along the 2,000-mile boundary between the two countries.
Artists installed seesaws at the border wall so that kids in the U.S. and Mexico could play together. It was designed by architect Ronald Rael.
Beautiful reminder that we are connected: what happens on one side impacts the other.
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— Mauricio Martínez (@martinezmau) July 30, 2019
#Border fence will not keep us from our neighbours.
Phong, 16 years old, a smuggling victim found in a suitcase has thanked the English people who saved him.
Since then, Phong has been fostered by a family and is now learning English and Maths.
I never believed I would be loved. There is now a big rainbow in my life instead of darkness.
On World Refugee Day 2019, held on 20th of June every year, a global challenge of solidarity trending as #StepWithRefugees celebrated the courage and determination of peoples displaced from their homes.
UNHCR followed the whole event globally amid record displacement:
Feels Like Home
The ancient east Asian sport of caneball or also known as ‘chinlone’ has been helping Karen refugees feel at home and belonging in Australian. The game is regularly played and several competitions are held around Australia.
Nay Chee Aung, a caseworker at Bendigo Community Health Services and had organised the second annual Victorian competition said:
[I wanted] to reduce the social isolation and increase participation, which is really good for the community and also lets other communities know that this is the game that we play.
Sydney Chaffee: How teachers can help kids find their political voices
Our aim is to encourage students to articulate their own opinions, not to coerce them into agreeing with us.
'Stop jailing 10-year-olds'
Twelve-year-old Indigenous boy Dujuan Hoosan addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to end the jailing of 10=year old children in Australia.
“It is about our dreams, our hopes and rights. I hope you can make things better for us.”
Watch Dujuan’s inspiring speech here:
Podcast: Indigenous language and perception
Listen to a podcast by ABC’s ‘All In The Mind’ to learn about how language significantly affects perception:
In Eastern philosophies they say with our thoughts we make the world. But I would say no, it’s with our words we make the world. We need to start paying attention to our language and start building ways of talking that are reflecting our complex realities – Tyson Yunkaporta
The Bardi language and education
Vincent McKenzie is his English name. His Bardi name is Bawunge.
The Bardi tribe is located at the top of the Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia.
Thanks to my Elders, I am a strong cultural person. Thanks to my teachers, I can relate to white man’s way.
Teach Your Children To Doubt and Rebel
Teach our kids doubt so they can build strong, reliable minds. Teach them to avoid the cosmetic, the craven, the jingle of self-satisfaction. If they want to watch any number of glitzy reality TV shows, ask them if it is a good thing to set up nasty, shallow, meaningless human conflicts. Ask them if it is right to be mean and careless. Ask them to wonder about a society that needs such things to relax at night.
'I know how to use a gun'
In 2018, the UN recorded 927 child deaths and 2,135 injuries.
In the first half of 2019, 327 children were killed and 880 wounded.
These children share their experiences through words and photographs.
I want to be a lawyer and work in the government later, because I want to change the situation here in Badghis…This year, there’s been so much fighting. Many people were killed – both the Taliban and government soldiers, but some of them were innocent. At night, I often hear the planes fly over my house. I know that they will not strike here, but I wonder where they are going and who will die. Many people have died here in Badghis because of the war – Eidnaz, 12, Badghis province.
The Right To A Future
16 children – including @GretaThunberg & @AlexandriaV2005 – filed a landmark complaint on the climate crisis to the UN child rights committee.
They’re demanding #ClimateAction now, #ForEveryChild. #UNGA pic.twitter.com/6XtJvquskD
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) September 24, 2019
The Psychological Damage of 'Cages'
Immigrant children’s drawings have been released by The American Academy of Pediatrics, displaying the long-term trauma of Trump administration’s border policies that separate immigrant children from parents or guardians.
— Gabe Gutierrez (@gabegutierrez) July 3, 2019
“The fact that the drawings are so realistic and horrific gives us a view into what these children have experienced
Not Just Greta
If you’re teaching about Greta, teach about Autumn as well.
Activist since she was 8
Nominated for the 2019 International Children’s Peace Prize
Chief Water Commissioner for Anishinabek First Nation & Wikwemikong First Nation https://t.co/intQ6c9leR
— Sara K. Ahmed (@SaraKAhmed) September 24, 2019
— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) November 24, 2016
Read more about the amazing activist children fighting to protect the Earth:
Water is the lifeblood of mother earth … water is around us and sustains us all. Everything is connected to this issue of clean water. – Autumn Peltier
China's Cultural Genocide
Muslim children are being separated from their families, faith and language in China’s far western region of Xinjiang.
In 60 separate interviews, parents and children testify the disappearance of more than 100 children.
Let's Talk About Race and Racism
Have a look at this children’s book list for conversations on race, racism and resistance:
The Forgotten Children
The devastating experiences of the 128 children on Nauru (2016):
The harm is permanent…the damage is done to these children.
Tip Sheet for Supporting Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Children are the most vulnerable to exploitation and abuse in war and conflict.
A helpful tip sheet by Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network for supporting refugees and asylum seekers recovering from trauma:
From War Torn Syria to a Sydney Symphony
A young violinist learnt the violin himself by watching Youtube clips in war-torn Syria.
When I play the violin, I’m not in this world anymore. I forget everything.
Here is his amazing journey:
Rohingya Youth's Mental Health Project
Rohingya children were forced to flee with their families from the horrific violence committed against their community in Myanmar.
Read more about the mental health project these children are involved with to speak about their worries and sadness:
Children's Book: It Only Takes One Yes
Somali refugee Habso Mohamud who grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya has become a children’s illustrated book author.
The book titled ‘It Only Takes One Yes’ based on Habso’s real life shares some powerful messages about mental health and refugee stereotypes.
We are the agents of change – Habso Mohamud
Don’t give up on yourself and don’t give up on your dreams, no matter where you are or what circumstances in life that you might come across.
Football Dreams to Reality
A three-day training programme involving players from refugee and host communities coached from Italian football club Sampdoria.
When children are not at school, they don’t have much to do in the settlements, so sport keeps them busy and active. It also helps them make new friends and this promotes peace. These kinds of activities have a great impact –James Bond Anywar, protection assistant with UNHCR.
When I play football, I am happy, I feel like I am an important member of the community and I can share my ideas – Patrick Amba.
If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.Dr. Lilla Watson, Indigenous Artist, Activist and Academic