A new Aboriginal-led early childhood education and care program aimed at improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s developmental and learning outcomes will be launched today in Nowra, NSW.

The Boori Milumba program is tailored to meet the specific individual and cultural needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are facing significant family stress and hardship.

A total of 34 children from birth to three years old enrolled at Cullunghutti Aboriginal Child and Family Centre in Nowra, NSW, will participate in the program for three years, receiving five hours each day of high-quality education and care for five days a week at no cost to families.

The support will be delivered by qualified early childhood educators, infant wellbeing consultants and family support workers.

Boori Milumba is funded by the Australian Government and philanthropy and is being undertaken as a collaborative partnership between SNAICC, Cullunghutti Aboriginal Child and Family Centre, Parkville Institute and Social Ventures Australia.

The launch will include addresses from:

  • Minister for Early Childhood Education, Anne Aly
  • SNAICC CEO, Catherine Liddle
  • Parkville Institute interim Chair, Anne Kennedy.


Media contact, Amanda Duncan on 0423 671 111 or media@snaicc.org.au.

Quotes attributed below.


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Catherine Liddle, SNAICC – National Voice for our Children CEO

“Boori Milumba is an exciting project that will deliver positive outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and early childhood workers.

“It’s initiatives like this that show our Aboriginal community-controlled organisation’s ability to close the gap in early education and early years targets and strengthen school readiness for our children.

“To have supports that are specifically tailored to the child’s needs that embed culture into practices and offer wraparound support to families is fundamental in delivering positive outcomes for our children and giving them the opportunity to thrive.”

Tara Leslie, Cullunghutti Aboriginal Child and Family Service CEO

“Boori Milumba will improve Aboriginal children’s developmental and educational progress, school readiness and overall wellbeing by drawing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and wisdom.

“This approach will strengthen our nurturing environment that celebrates cultural identity.

“It also aims to develop a model and evidence base for effective early childhood interventions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, developing a model of early childhood education and care that can be used as in other communities.”

Emma Sydenham, Director Early Childhood, Social Ventures Australia

“SVA has been thrilled to help broker and support this exciting initiative, which has enormous potential for Aboriginal children in the Nowra region—and potentially many others—to thrive, learn within culture, and realise their potential. Together, we’re striving for a future where historical and ongoing injustices are redressed and all Aboriginal children and families thrive, growing up strong, confident and proud in culture.

“SVA is proud to be part of an Aboriginal-led collaborative process with such extraordinary leaders. We hope that this initiative will strengthen the evidence and support policy reform for better funding for Aboriginal community-controlled organisations around the country to provide a program like Boori Milumba.”

Associate Professor Brigid Jordan AM, BSW, PhD, Executive Director, Parkville Institute

“The evaluation of the children’s outcomes after participating in the innovative Boori Milumba program will document the evidence on what is needed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander children to thrive and start school as confident and successful learners, strong in their culture and identity.

“This evidence can inform Federal and State governments on culturally responsive and appropriate policy and funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood education and care services.”

Dr Anne Kennedy, Interim Chair, Parkville Institute

“Parkville Institute welcomes the opportunity to partner with the Australian government, SNAICC, Cullunghutti Child and Family Service and SVA in co-developing the Boori Milumba intensive early childhood education and care program for Aboriginal children.

“The co-developed program holds high expectations for every Aboriginal child’s capacity for learning and to be culturally strong with the support of their families, community and the staff team working in the centre.”

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