Goodstarters Heal Country through specialised NAIDOC shirts
16,000 Goodstart Early Learning employees will receive a free Goodstart NAIDOC shirt matching the 2021 NAIDOC theme of Heal Country!, ahead of NAIDOC Week, to be celebrated 4 – 11 July 2021.
Within the first two days of announcing the offer, more than 13,500 shirt orders had been placed, with thousands more expected over the coming week.
The shirts have been designed via a partnership between Goodstart and BW Tribal– a 100 per cent Australian Indigenous owned and operated Australian brand, who works in collaboration with fellow Indigenous artists, using modern textile techniques to bring artworks and stories to life.
Goodstarters can choose from three different designs created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists Kiya Watt, Joel Sam and Leah Brideson reflecting the theme, ‘Heal Country!’.
“It is great to see a large organisation wholeheartedly embrace and participate in the NAIDOC yearly celebrations at a nationwide level,” a BW Tribal representative said.
“It truly is a credit to the early learning organisation how they are embedding practisers that allow Australia’s First Nations, Culture to be shared and learned at an early age”.
The shirt initiative, Goodstart Cultural Liaison Melody Ingra explained, was about enabling all Goodstart employees to connect with this year’s theme.
“NAIDOC shirts are a powerful way to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture,” she said.
“We take seriously our responsibility to ensure the next generation of Australians grow up with connection to and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, people and our true history.”
Goodstarters will represent First Nations culture through wearing the shirts in 670 communities nationally, both at work and community events held in support of their local communities.
Through wearing the shirts, Goodstart hopes to spark conversations about the Heal Country! theme, which calls on all Australians to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction.
Ms Ingra explained the initiative was inspired by the growing demand for NAIDOC shirts each year, an option which began in 2018 when one of the centre directors designed a NAIDOC shirt for their educators to wear with the Goodstart logo on it.
“Since then, more and more Goodstarters have purchased NAIDOC shirts from BW Tribal each year with some 7,500 shirts purchased in 2020.”
For more information about NAIDOC Week, please see here.