Dialog Box


Reforming the system

The status quo is failing to address the devastating life experiences of children and families living with intergenerational inequity and disadvantage in Australia. We don't accept the status quo.

We have reformed five key areas to redress existing failings and to evidence a new system to achieve long term impact.

  • Governance: Blending robust corporate governance with strong community ownership
  • Workforce: Local and sustainable, with cultural, community  and sector experts
  • Evidence: 25-year longitudinal evaluation
  • Investment: Collective, outcomes based investment
  • Service Delivery: Integrated services based on excellence  and leading practice


Local governance is the single most important principle and practice in our approach. We place priority on people's ability to govern their own affairs. It is only by securing the consent, direction, support and active involvement of the community that enduring change will be achieved.

Our Board of Directors provides leadership and accountability. The Board is highly skilled and qualified in their respective fields. They have the capacity and tenacity to pioneer an ambitious change agenda. The Board includes leaders with expertise in social, health and education sectors, fundraising, financial management, human rights, social innovation, research and evaluation, communications, entrepreneurship and stakeholder relations.

Children's Ground's unique two-tiered governance model blends strong central stewardship with local community ownership and engagement.  


Our workforce reform prioritises the employment and training of local people. The long term aim is building a skilled, sustainable workforce for the regions in which we work. We recruit cultural and sector experts to implement our bicultural skills and learning approach.

We have ‘no barriers to employment’, encouraging engagement of long term unemployed people. Importantly the employment is meaningful and responds to people’s skills, talent, interests and personal situation. Jobs include: teaching, nutrition, community engagement, communications, maintenance, community development, health, research and enterprise.

The Children's Ground Platform


Children’s Ground tackles the social, structural and economic factors critical to addressing extreme poverty for the communities in which we work.

We do this by shifting from single issue responses to a comprehensive, integrated response: the Children's Ground Platform, responding to the multi-level influences on children’s development from pre-birth to 25 years.

The Children's Ground Platform focuses on five key areas:

  • Learning and wellbeing;
  • Family health and wellbeing;
  • Community development and wellbeing;
  • Economic development and wellbeing; and
  • Cultural development and wellbeing.

We celebrate the Aboriginal world view that connects the development of the person to the land and the people in a sophisticated system. Our Platform combines education, health, wellbeing, society, law, philosophy, environment and culture.


Through a longitudinal 25-year evaluation in each community and strategic and community level research agendas, we are monitoring and measuring change in education, health and wellbeing, economic, social and cultural outcomes – over the short, medium and long-term.

With a comprehensive First Nations led Research and Evaluation strategy and framework, Children’s Ground aims to evidence the impact of the Children’s Ground Approach to create change with children, families and communities and to inform systems and policy change nationally. 

A high degree of innovation and responsiveness is embedded in evaluation approaches; implementation and evidencing of the Children’s Ground Approach is shaped by each community for their children, families and context.

Our impact can only be truly understood over a generation - when the generation of children growing up with Children’s Ground are young adults and become the majority of families who have experienced positive education, health and wellbeing from their earliest years, have had a voice and agency over their own lives and continue to enjoy positive education, health, social and economic opportunities.

Read the results of our first two year's of work with Bininj (Aboriginal) children and families in Kakadu West Arnhem in our Progress & Evaluation Report 2016.  

 Children’s Ground in Kakadu West Arnhem Final Evaluation – 2013 to 2017  


Our ‘collective investment in outcomes’ approach is designed to secure funding on terms that allow Children’s Ground to maintain program integrity and clarity of our aims, direction and measurement. This requires sufficient funding to deliver excellence over the long term and to create the conditions for flexibility and innovation to evidence a new approach.

Our collective investment approach combines local community investment (where available) with government, philanthropic and corporate investment. Our investors are part of a collective who:

  • Want to see their contribution and commitment achieve scale and impact in the long term;
  • Have the courage to back ambitious change and innovation to create great value; and
  • Accept that the change required is generational, rather than a quick fix.


Children’s Ground in Kakadu West Arnhem Final Evaluation – 2013 to 2017  

Justice for All
Top End | Early and Primary Years Learning
End of Year Celebrations 2018