The Mirarr are the traditional custodians of an estate covering much of the north-east of Kakadu National Park, parts of Western Arnhem Land, and the lands comprising the Ranger Project Area, Jabiluka uranium lease and the town of Jabiru in the Northern Territory.
After nearly four wonderful years walking alongside Bininj (Aboriginal) children and families, Children's Ground will be ceasing operations in Kakadu West Arnhem on the 30th of June, 2017.
This decision comes at the request of the Mirarr people and their organisation, GAC, who have been our key partner and lead investor in Kakadu. Children's Ground and GAC have released a joint statement on our closure in Kakadu West Arnhem :
"The Children’s Ground program will cease in Kakadu West Arnhem as of 30 June 2017. The core funding for the program has been provided by the local Mirarr traditional owners via the Kakadu West Arnhem Social Trust, also established by the Mirarr. Due to changed circumstances and priorities, the Mirarr are no longer in a position to fund and support the Children’s Ground program. Alternative local service providers will continue key services and programs after 30 June 2017."
While we are deeply sad that we can no longer continue to work with children and families in Kakadu, we know there is much to celebrate. In just a few years, we have witnessed the extraordinary things that happen when you place control back in the hands of the community. Children are engaged in a vibrant world of early years learning, families are engaged in meaningful employment and a community has mobilised around the future of their children. Families are building the foundations for their children to grow up feeling loved, strong and proud of who they are, and with the skills to choose whatever future they desire.
We extend our deepest thanks to the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, the Kakadu West Arnhem Social Trust, the Northern Territory and Commonwealth Governments, our philanthropic family, the Mirarr and to the Bininj people of Kakadu West Arnhem, for their partnership and support over the past few years.