Camp Australia makes steps toward reconciliation and healing with RAP creation
National outside school hours care (OSHC) provider Camp Australia shared the story of its journey toward healing and reconciliation yesterday, in line with National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day.
Reflecting on the 2021 theme – Proud in Culture, Strong in Spirit – a representative from the provider shared that the pursuit of educational equality and increased awareness and understanding of the world’s oldest continuing culture is “something we hold dear to our hearts”.
Given the significance of the day in the broader context of Camp Australia’s ambitions, the provider chose yesterday to submit its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to Reconciliation Australia.
“As a national organisation that contributes to the education of thousands of children, we believe it is our responsibility to lead the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector,” the spokesperson said.
“Over time we hope our RAP will enhance our position as an inclusive place to work and that our services support the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. We are taking this journey of reconciliation with children, families, and the schools we work with, and we hope these are steps towards healing and reconciliation.
“We have a commitment to Guide Children’s Growth, and we have seen first-hand how this commitment can contribute to children’s understanding and engagement in the rich and diverse cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
Throughout Camp Australia’s corporate history, the provider has actively supported many Indigenous events, and a significant part of the Camp Australia program focuses on how the learning from occasions such as National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week can be extended throughout the year.
“Across the nation, our services program opportunities for children to explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and learn through engagement and expression during and beyond those weeks,” the representative said.
While Camp Australia seeks to Guide Children’s Growth, “we know that children also guide us as educators, and also their parents and families,” the spokesperson noted.
“Children approach this exploration and these events with natural curiosity and enthusiasm, they come with open hearts and minds.”
“Our ongoing commitment to making a difference in the present and guiding our children for the future has led us to the development of our RAP, which we are delighted to be submitting to Reconciliation Australia on National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day.”
The ECEC sector as a collective, the spokesperson continued, “must recognise the influence we have to enable an authentic understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Camp Australia hopes that RAPs will be the sector norm, enabling all of us to take pride in the continuation of a strong culture that’s forever strong in spirit.”
To learn more about Camp Australia, please see here.