Port Augusta celebrates Aboriginal children

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day celebrations have been hosted across Australia for three decades, but Port Augusta joined the party for the first time this year.

CELEBRATION: Alan Morris and Mikaela Murphy cut the cake on National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day.

CELEBRATION: Alan Morris and Mikaela Murphy cut the cake on National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day.

Locals came together at the Port Augusta Youth Centre on Friday, August 3 to honour Port Augusta’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.

After attending National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day events interstate, representatives from different community groups decided it was time to bring the celebrations to Port Augusta.

UnitingCare Wesley Country SA Community Development Worker Roz Hartley hopes Port Augusta will celebrate the day each year.

“We’re very big on NAIDOC, Reconciliation Week and Harmony Day, but we don’t seem to really celebrate our Aboriginal children,” Ms Hartley said.

“Knowing that almost 50 per cent of the kids around here are Aboriginal, we need to give them confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing, letting them know we’re all here for them, so they can dream as big as every other kid.

“Today was about gathering those people who are there to support and help create the future for these kids.”

Children engaged in a range of activities, including slime making, boomerang decorating, rock painting, obstacle courses and face painting by Amarly Meyers.

Port Augusta Children’s Centre pioneered the event, in collaboration with several other community groups, while the Pika Wiya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation was the major sponsor.

Aboriginal Family Support Services, Uniting Country SA, Salvation Army and the Port Augusta Youth Centre all played pivotal roles in organising the celebrations.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day was established in 1988.