Charter of rights for children yet to be conceived
The First 1000 Days Australia Council appreciates that parenting is a skill learned from being parented and is specific to the demands of a particular way of life. The Council also understands there are families who experience social and health inequities.
However, every child can rightfully expect to be born into families who:
Choose to become parents at a time when they are resourced and supported to provide optimum care for the child who will be born to them.
Seek appropriate preventative and early intervention medical and cultural supports prior to, during and after the First 1000 Days.
Can nourish them in the mother’s womb with good quality nutrition, free from alcohol, smoke and the experience of violence.
Have loving expectations of them, are hopeful about their future and help them to achieve their life aspirations in powerful and tender ways.
Participate in their education from birth to ensure that personal aspirations are nurtured and aligned with our people’s cultural values, responsibilities and entrepreneurial spirit.
6. Provide an appropriately stimulating environment, age-appropriate games, and the ability to grow with siblings and family members who themselves are capable of experienced and knowledgeable caring and parenting.
7. Know who they are, where they come from, who they are connected to, who loves them, who advocates for them, who listens to them, and who is responsible for them – culturally, morally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
8. Are part of a healthy, vibrant society shaped by strong kinship relationships and a resilient culture, in which all members thrive, flourish and enjoy the same opportunities as other Australians – without being made the same.
9. Have healed and broken free from trans- generational trauma, and are able to transform harmful experiences into a positive future for their children and grandchildren.
10. Have the capacity to celebrate their children and offer them ceremonies, rituals, language, songs, stories and environments that strengthen their resilience, encourage their growth and support their choice of identity.
Our Men, Our Shields
We recognise the transformative moments that occur with becoming a first-time parent, and all the responsibility that entails. Our work supports and celebrates the roles of mothers, fathers and extended family in ensuring the health and wellbeing of children in their first 1000 days.
However, a focus on mothers and babies, to the exclusion of men, undermines and undervalues the important contribution that men make to their families during those first 1000 days. When men's roles and responsibilities are either not acknowledged or denied, the very foundations of our societies are disrupted and our cultural ways of rearing children in nurturing homes are denied.