Impact partner profile

Children’s Ground

First Nations people across Australia have self-determination and enjoy social, cultural, political and economic justice.

Est. since


Location of HQ

2/10 Hoddle Street, Abbotsford, VIC, 3067, Australia

Partnership date with Thankyou

May 2020

Area of focus

Learning, Health, Economic Development, Community Development, Cultural Development




Children’s Ground is working towards a world where all children and families live with dignity and are free from economic poverty and inequity. They want to see First Nations children and families have agency over their social, cultural, political and economic future. Children’s Ground is working to create a new future for children, filled with promise, justice, hope, and empowerment by partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. They believe the next generation of children need to know and celebrate their culture and identity, have freedom of choice and expression and can live with opportunity, peace, harmony and wellbeing. Furthermore, they believe Australians should recognise the shared history and celebrate First Nations culture and strength.

Their 25-year ‘Learning, Wellbeing and Development’ approach centres on the wellbeing of every child in each community where they work. It focuses on integrating cultural knowledge with international leading practices to enable optimal learning, wellbeing, and development for each person in the community.

Led by Aboriginal communities, the approach focuses on the next generation and their families, delivering early years learning that promotes First Nations language and culture. This is integrated with a focus on other key areas such as; health promotion, job creation, prioritising local governance, and celebrating community and culture.

Children’s Ground’s unique approach proves what can be achieved when programs and systems are designed alongside the people it serves. The team at Children’s Ground is passionate about advocating for systems change for First Nations people while promoting national reform for policy and practice in a range of different areas.

Serving more than 1000 people per year, Children’s Ground is working to see First Nations children live a life free from trauma and suffering; one where they can enjoy equity and safety, and grow into adulthood feeling happy and able to enjoy their identity, health, and wellbeing.

Core impact goals

See children thriving

Children’s Ground hopes to see children engaged in a life, brimming with laughter, pride, confidence, and opportunities.

Empower families to feel strong and lead change

Children’s Ground aims to empower families to feel strong, supported and confident about their children’s future. The goal is to help families to feel valued and involved in their children’s learning, wellbeing and development.

Create a safe environment for every child

Another goal for Children’s Ground is to see communities enjoy economic, cultural and social strength, and opportunity. The approach is to see communities care for each other and provide a safe environment for every child.

Type of grant funding given

$450,000 *AUD

*Restricted and unrestricted grants funded from January 2020 to December 2023

  1. A total of 500+ children and families engaged in the Children’s Ground Approach (including: early learning, family health, economic development, community development, governance and cultural development and well-being)
  2. 200+ children (0-8 years) engaged in learning
  3. 220+ family members (18+ years) engaged in health promotion and support
  4. 50+ First Nations people employed in Children’s Ground regions
Through Children’s Ground’s integrated service delivery, they aim to see 850 children and families engaged in early learning, family health, economic development, community development and cultural development and wellbeing.

Throughout the grant period, 1,519 people engaged with Children’s Ground across all five platforms encompassing the Children’s Ground Approach – early learning, family health, economic development, community development and cultural development and wellbeing.

Provide Early Years and Primary Years Learning that integrates First Language and Culture with Western learning priorities delivered in 8 First Nations communities across 2 regions in the Northern Territory.

Throughout the grant period, the Children's Ground Approach was delivered in four communities in Central Australia (1 region) and four in the Top End (1 region) of the Northern Territory. Learning was delivered through the leadership of local community Elders, Traditional Owners, and cultural educators. Learning is based on First Nations educational standards, curriculum, and pedagogy, and this includes a curriculum that spans both First Nations and Western learning and development domains.

Have First Language and Culture revitalised and strengthened as assessed by Elders and community leaders.

Learning sessions conducted by Children's Ground included both First Nations First Language and Culture alongside Western (e.g., literacy and numeracy) learning priorities and were delivered by teams comprised of both First Nations and Western-trained educators.

Have over 60 First Nations people employed through Children’s Ground’s flexible no-barriers approach to employment.

Children’s Ground continued to provide its flexible, no-barriers approach to employing 60 First Nations people throughout the grant period.

See local governance and leadership privileged, promoted and celebrated through Elders’ leadership, direction and community voice.

Promoting and celebrating local governance was a priority throughout the reporting period. There are two types of governance across Darwin communities: Local governance, which takes place within each site and focuses on site-specific planning and decision-making, and regional governance, which consists of representatives from each of the three communities. 17 people engaged in eight governance meetings in the reporting period, with many more informal governance conversations occurring with leaders and families.

Milestone on-track for completion within specified timeframe, outside of Thankyou’s grant period.
Mostly achieved
>90%+ milestone completion.
Partially achieved
Milestone <90% completed within grant period.
Milestone delayed, not completed within grant period.