Discover our Envisage First Peoples Program

ENVISAGE- First Peoples stands for ‘ENabling VISions And Growing Expectations’ for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families, and communities.  It is a future focused and strengths-based program that aims to empower and support First Nations families raising children with developmental concerns or disability to feel strong, be strong, and stay strong.

Raising happy and strong jarjum can be hard work at the best of times, and raising a child with a disability or developmental concerns can add a lot stress and worry for parents and mob.

Learning about your child and connecting with the right people early can help you build strong families and mob, and help you to look after your own health and wellbeing.

Our ENVISAGE First Peoples has been co created with mob to ensure it is a culturally safe program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander caregivers, families, and communities. Connect with mob, share stories and yarn about wellbeing, family, raising strong and deadly jarjum, finding your tribe and building connections. Yarns are held in different communities with experienced Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander caregivers, culturally safe early childhood professionals and cultural mentors.

Envisage First Peoples aims to create a unique and safe space where culture, community and identity are acknowledged and valued across the five yarning circle workshops.

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Yarning Circle 1: Solid and Deadly Families

The first yarning circle uses the social emotional wellbeing model as a way of thinking about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, wellbeing, development and disability. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is viewed as a holistic concept that encompasses the importance of connection to physical and emotional health, land, culture, family, spirituality, and ancestry. 

Parents and carers take a holistic view of their jarjum and celebrate all the things they CAN do, rather than worrying about concerns that needs to be ‘fixed’. We will also be yarning about telling your child’s story, focusing on their strengths and connections and what is important in their life.

Yarning Circle Two: Family Matters – Connecting and Belonging

The second yarning circle looks at how children, siblings and families are constantly learning, changing and growing, even when there are concerns about children’s development or they are diagnosed with a disability.  We explore the idea of when children develop, they do so within their own unique family, community, and cultural environments. 

We know having real life experiences and doing everyday things with siblings, cousins, friends, family and in community is important – learning in everyday family and community life is the best for building connections and being strong and deadly.

Yarning Circle Three: Leading and Learning Together

The third yarning circle looks at the importance of having strong and deadly connections between your child, family and community.  We talk about why parents and carers should be seen as experts of their children and family.  This yarn explores how health care professionals can and will give advice to support your child’s development, but it is you who knows them best. Yarning about what is important to you, your child, and your family, can help you make decisions about the direction you want your life to go.

Strong and deadly connections with your child and family are most important to development, health, and wellbeing. All children have unique personalities and behaviours and ways of communicating and every time you engage with your child you are learning new dance steps and they lead the dance. It is important that parents and caregivers allow children time and space so they can learn about their child, let their child lead the dance and develop a strong and deadly connection with them.  The connections and interactions you have with your child help you to learn and lead together.

Yarning Circle 4:  Looking After Ourselves – Our Way

The fourth yarning circle talks about how important self-care is, but that ‘looking after yourself’ can seem impossible at times.  Self-care is not selfish, and there is no shame in taking a break. With the right support and tribe by your side we can learn away to help guide and lessen the load. The first step is knowing you deserve that. This yarn helps us think about our own health, and why caregiver wellbeing and staying connected to what grounds us is essential to growing strong and deadly children, families, and communities. We share stories and think about what works for you and how you can do small things to look after ourselves-our way.

Yarning Circle 5: Strong Communities. Strong Culture. Stronger Children.

The final yarning circle looks at how walking together keeps our jarjum safe, strong, and connected to culture.  It focuses on the importance of creating connections and building strong and deadly relationships with community and service providers that offer family and community centred care. Getting and staying connected can be tough at times, so we yarn about ways of getting you and your family the support and connections you need. This yarn shares lots of resources for connecting with community so we can have strong communities, strong culture and stronger children.

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