Mornington Peninsula community projects are finalists in Victorian Early Years Awards
Two Mornington Peninsula community projects have been announced as finalists in the 2019 Victorian Early Years Awards, gaining recognition for “the exceptional contributions made to improving the learning and development of young children and their families”.
Operating since 2016, the Mornington Peninsula Shire has worked closely with Willum Warrain Aboriginal Gathering Place to provide Super Koorie Kids Bush Playgroup, a culturally welcoming Bush Playgroup for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.
The aim was to create a weekly opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to “be immersed in their culture and learn in a caring environment, surrounded by kin”. The success of this model has allowed members of the Willum Warrain Bush Playgroup to take ownership of the program and as of 2019, Super Koorie Kids is run by three local parents.
Balnarring Preschool was nominated for its program delivered in partnership with the Boon Wurrung Foundation, which advocates a culture of learning in natural environments and consciously connecting children to the land.
Since 2010, the organisation has been introducing First Peoples worldviews into its practice and community, carefully guided by Elders from the Boon Wurrung Peoples, on whose land the preschool stands.
First Peoples perspectives are now incorporated into all areas of the daily curriculum, allowing children to learn and explore the Boon Wurrung language, stories, songs and dances.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor David Gill congratulated both finalists on their dedication to bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture to the forefront of learning for our young community.
“It’s fantastic to see two well-deserving local projects acknowledged at a state level.To have both programs now run by community represents great success for the empowerment and independence of our people.”
Winners will receive between $10,000 and $15,000 to further develop their work or to undertake professional development at an awards ceremony on 22 October at the National Gallery of Victoria.
Learn more about the awards and finalists here.