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MacKillop Family Services is partnering with the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University in an exciting initiative funded by the NSW Department of Education under the Student Wellbeing Innovation Fund.
The NSW Department of Education Student Wellbeing Innovation Fund has been established to support and encourage bold, innovative programs and/or initiatives that are created and offered by external providers, to be sourced by primary and secondary schools for the purposes of educating, informing or directly supporting individual students to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
The project “Building Resilience and Belonging with First Nations Children through Seasons for Growth, aims to enhance the cultural safety and relevance of the highly successful Seasons for Growth loss and grief education programs. These small group programs focus on building children and young people’s knowledge and skills to cope with experiences of change, loss and grief in different contexts.
Informed culturally through Yarning Consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, community members and other relevant stakeholders, along with a review of relevant, culturally informed evidence, this project seeks to:

  1. embed cultural knowledge and ways of knowing, being and doing within the existing Seasons for Growth learning framework;
  2. co-design resources that foster this cultural dimension of learning while strengthening cultural connection, honouring cultural wisdom, and supporting cultural identity;
  3. pilot the culturally enriched Seasons for Growth program in 4 NSW schools; and
  4. undertake a participatory evaluation of the co-design process, as well as the pilot outcomes, to inform further culturally grounded program refinements.

Consistent with the Australian Curriculum’s cross-curricular priority on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, this initiative is intended to enrich the cultural understandings of all young people in Seasons for Growth programs so they can participate positively in the evolving history of Australia and contribute towards individual healing and community reconciliation.