There are a number of ways in which children grow up in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities across Australia. Child rearing practices are informed by cultural values and beliefs. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are richly diverse, and the values and beliefs informing child rearing differ from community to community, as well as family to family.
This resource provides a snapshot of some of the values, beliefs and practices informing the ‘growing up’ of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Examining both traditional and contemporary child rearing practices, Growing Up Our Way provides a few examples – collected from the literature around Australia – of the ways in which children are being raised. A strengths-based perspective grounded the research in documenting how children are raised strong in self, proud in culture.
The primary objective of this resource is to preserve and promote, to value and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child rearing practices. Further details on how to use this resource appropriately in your particular field are available on this site.
We encourage you to discuss, collect, share and begin to build understandings of local child rearing values and practices in your area, in order to gain an awareness of how children are best cared for in culture and community, and to support current practices.
SOURCE: Allara Ashton, Joel Hawting and Jane Harrison, “Growing Up Our Way – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Rearing Practices Matrix”, SNAICC 2011