Spring Gully Kindergarten erects sculpture to acknowledge Bendigo’s Aboriginal history
A permanent sculpture of Bunjil the Eagle has been erected by Spring Gully Kindergarten, in acknowledgement of the Dja Dja Wurrung clans of Bendigo and surrounding districts.
The sculpture was commissioned through the local Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Clans Corporation by the Parent Advisory Group of the Kindergarten, and has been two years in the making.
Bunjil was created by Natasha Carter, a local Jaara woman and artist. Her concept was brought to life by Andre Sardone, who creates sculptures from recycled metal.
Nominated supervisor and educational leader at the Kindergarten, Melodie Russell, said the Kindergarten was honoured to host the sculpture in their play space, and was thankful for the support of all those involved, including Shine Bright EYM and the City of Greater Bendigo.
Installed during NAIDOC week, the installation also coincided with the Board of Management at Shine Bright EYM formally adopting their Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). CEO for Shine Bright, Suzi Sordan, said the RAP “highlights the value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in our communities”
“The RAP is instrumental in developing culturally safe environments that enhance opportunities for children and families to learn and develop.” Ms Sordan said, describing the plan as “critical” in supporting the organisation to embed cultural perspectives within the organisations practice.
Through successfully implementing the RAP, Ms Sordan said the organisation hopes to further strengthen inclusion, positive engagement, and strengthening of partnerships to achieve “the best outcomes for our children, families and staff.”
A celebration to officially unveil the Bunjil sculpture, and to recognise the adoption of Shine Bright’s RAP will take place at Spring Gully Kindergarten later today, including a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony from members of the Dja Dja Wurrung community.