Cookies, community visits, research…how Goodstart embraced Reconciliation Week
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider Goodstart Early Learning recently prepared a reflection outlining the way a few of the more than 600 services across the network acknowledged National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June), which is used by Goodstart as “an important time to reflect, discuss and take more action for reconciliation – both on a personal and professional level”.
In 2021, the theme for National Reconciliation Week theme was #MoreThanAWord, something Goodstart said was “a powerful way for our 16,000 Goodstarters to reflect about 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.”
At Goodstart Brisbane Meeanjin Ann St, each room was invited to research Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Art. Educators then encouraged the children to create their own perspective of the art they researched. The Toddler room explored the animals that are significant to the Torres Strait Islands, Senior Toddlers learned about Dorothy Napangardi- a leading contemporary Aboriginal artist, and Pre-kindy and Kindergarten learned how to make Ochre paint and used it to mimic Aboriginal signs, Jodie Embrey, Senior Educator shared.
At Goodstart Red Hill, in Queensland, the team planted its Sea of Hearts installation in the local community.
“We will be planting these hearts of healing every day this National Reconciliation Week. So many passers-by have stopped to read our community’s words for healing and reconciliation, and some have been taking a heart home with them to decorate and return,” Renee Janet Mitchell, Centre Director, explained.
“The Clontarf program at our local high school is for Aboriginal boys to improve their education, discipline, life skills, self esteem and employment opportunities and by doing so equips them to participate more meaningfully in society,” Centre Director Tahnee Jamieson explained.
“These boys are focussed on connecting with their culture and shared this with us through cultural dance and didgeridoo playing. It was a wonderful opportunity for our children who most enjoyed the performance. The boys cannot wait to return in a few weeks to explore creative arts.”
The team at Goodstart Parramatta took part in deep listening, learning and reflecting at the Unsettled exhibition at the Australian Museum, furthering goals outlined in the service’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
The Goodstart services in the Northern Territory came together for National Reconciliation Week, teaming up to raise funds for the Children’s Ground and “Wear it Yellow Day”, while in South Australia, the team from Goodstart Elizabeth Vale enjoyed delicious lemon myrtle and ginger cookies and wattle seed and sultana scones, building on the service’s intention to embed bush tucker foods into weekly menus.
For more information about Reconciliation Week please see here.