Acknowledgement of Country: In the spirit of reconciliation, Afford acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and future. 

Australia Day is celebrated annually on the 26th of January and it is an opportunity for reflection, growth and discussion. Across the nation, our lifestyle centres and supported accommodation observed the day with a range of activities that reflect the Australian culture we live today and show sensitivity for our Indigenous history. From learning about Indigenous culture to cooking a barbecue lunch, our sites celebrated paid their respects.

Our Lifestyle Assistant, Skye Southcombe from Gregory Hills Lifestyle Centre, planned a range of Australiana arts and crafts activities for the site.

“For the entire month, all of our arts and crafts projects have focused on Australia. We get a lot of unique ideas off Pinterest and adapt them to what our customers enjoy,” said Skye.

One of their proudest creations was crafting a boomerang then decorating it in the traditional Indigenous dot painting style. The team drew inspiration from photos but were encouraged to use their creativity when replicating the design. Everyone got involved and they were excited to put their creations in their hall of fame.

“Our customers all love art. We have an art wall where we display work from the month and when we finish that theme, they take their artworks home. Maria is one customer who adores the program. She often does extra pieces so she can share them with her family right away,” continued Skye.

The team also crafted a three-dimensional opera house from plastic plates and decorated the background with glitter glue and paints to resemble the New Year’s Eve fireworks. The blending of modern Australia and Indigenous history throughout the month enabled our customers to celebrate the land we call home and our diverse history.

The ladies of Bluebird Supported Accommodation spent the day playing their favourite games and sharing a lovely barbecue lunch. It was an excellent opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and celebrate the Australian values of mateship and community.

Down at Forest Oak Supported Accommodation in Victoria, sausages on the barbecue were also their lunch choice. David is dedicated to improving his life skills so he volunteered to man the meat while his housemates prepared the salads.

“This is a big job for David as he does not do it often. Over the past week, he has taken many steps towards becoming independent. He had a lovely day and enjoyed the food and relaxing in the air conditioning,” said Lifestyle Assistant, Theodora Popescu.

As stated by Dr Tom Calma AO, Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia, “Here in Australia we’re fortunate enough to have one of the richest and oldest continuing cultures in the world. This is something we should all be proud of and celebrate.”

Find out more about Afford’s inclusive supports and services where you can share the activities, places and traditions you love with friends.

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