THERE was plenty of kidding around at the Awabakal child-care centre yesterday, but that did not detract from the day's serious message.
National Aboriginal and Islander Children's Day was celebrated at the Wickham centre with traditional dance performances and songs in Worimi language.
Steve Larkin, the chairman of the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care and general manager of Hunter Aboriginal Children's Services, said this year's theme of "Good Child Protection: We Do It Together" encouraged groups working with indigenous families to co-operate.
"We certainly feel it's a timely message, and an important message, not just today, but every day," he said.
Mr Larkin said Hunter Aboriginal Children's Services aimed to double the number of children it supported over three years, but had challenges to overcome.
"Our big push in Newcastle is to find more Aboriginal foster carers," he said.