Social Inclusion Week 2021: Connect, Collaborate and Celebrate!

Our Place is celebrating and acknowledging Social Inclusion Week (SIW) from 20-28 November.

SIW aligns with the Our Place Approach and aims to help all Australians feel included and valued, giving everyone the opportunity to participate fully in society. SIW is also about being inclusive of all cultures, age groups, nationalities and abilities.  This theme for this years SWI is Connect, Collaborate and Celebrate!

Within our society, there are community members who are more likely to experience feelings of exclusion. These often include young people 12–25 years of age, jobless families with children, people with a disability or mental illness, those who are homeless, the elderly and Indigenous Australians. 

SIW encourages and provides opportunities for events to be held that enable communities, workmates, family and friends to connect, to build and strengthen relationships or networks. These opportunities also aim to address isolation and exclusion of those who may be marginalised.  

Our Place believes that every child, parent and community member should be welcomed to and shown respect at an Our Place site. Our Place site partners also plan infrastructure and target resources to create a high-quality and inclusive environment. That means that the physical environment is suitable for people with diverse needs – for example, offering multilingual signage, pram parking and breastfeeding spaces. 

This also applies to resources offered from the Our Place site that help to remove barriers to participation. Examples of this often include offering of programs at times that suit families, providing child supervision during adult classes, bringing service providers to community members and ensuring services meet community needs.  

The Australian Parenting Website also offer a range of resources relating to inclusion, some of which include:

Inclusion of children and teenagers with disability, developmental delay or autism – For children and teenagers with disability, developmental delay or autism, inclusion is key to wellbeing and development.

Supporting rainbow and same-sex families in your community – All children do well when their parents feel supported and accepted in their communities. You can help rainbow families feel like they belong in your community by being inclusive and respectful.

Videos of families with diverse cultural backgrounds – In these videos, migrant parents from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds share their experiences of parenting and raising children in Australia. They also talk about speaking two languages and language barriers, drawing on diverse parenting traditions, feeling isolated and getting involved in local communities.