Helping children thrive in remote Australian communities
© Indi Kindi
Children read together while enjoying a healthy snack at the Indi Kindi program in remote Northern Territory.
This early childhood outreach initiative is delivered on Country and led by women from the local community. Created to help encourage a love of learning and get children ready for school, Indi Kindi brings kids together so they can learn and play in a holistic, culturally appropriate environment. Local languages, health, well-being and community development are woven throughout to help children thrive.
This ground-breaking program is helping to increase the number of Indigenous children benefitting from early-childhood education. In 2021, the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) reported that 42.3 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were considered to be developmentally vulnerable in one or more domains of the AEDC – physical health and well-being, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, and communication skills and general knowledge.
UNICEF Australia has partnered with the Moriarty Foundation, founders of the Indi Kindi program, to help close the gap by bringing about systemic change and addressing multigenerational disadvantages in remote Aboriginal communities.
Indi Kindi reaches 80 per cent of Indigenous children in the communities of Borroloola, Robinson River, Tennant Creek and Mungkarta, while local mothers are offered employment opportunities and training.
One mother involved in the program is Garrawa woman Deandra, who lives with her children in Borroloola. Deandra has been working as an Indi Kindi educator for over five years.
"I love coming to work every day, working with my colleagues to make a better community, a better environment for the kids to learn."
- Deandra, Indi Kindi educator
Our Play & Learn Packs for Remote Indigenous Communities can help Deandra and her fellow educators to engage children within the program. A few simple items like books and balls can help facilitate the kind of play that builds a child's brain. Early moments matter, and every moment counts.