For Goodstart Director Corrine Bell, Reconciliation is part of the every day
Ballardong Noongar woman and Goodstart Early Learning Stratton Director Corrine Bell is passionate about working with First Nations communities to share their history and culture with children and families, and to support children to “be the voice of tomorrow”.
“I love working with children and building authentic relationships with families,” she said, sharing her 12-year journey in the sector, which began shortly after completing high school.
“Goodstart’s vision aligns with my own — that children are central to all we do. It’s really important to me that Goodstart has been making a great effort to ensure the next generation of Australians grow up with a connection to and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, people, and our true history.”
Ms Bell’s service is on Whadjuk land and began its Reconciliation journey in 2016 when work started on the centre’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
“I am inspired by my cousins’ knowledge of our history and stolen generations, so when I became Centre Director in 2019 my priority was driving the journey for Reconciliation,” she explained.
“We had a new team of educators who shared my dedication and passion, and in 2020 our RAP was published. It’s something I am extremely proud of, and has made a real difference to our centre. It’s not just a document that sits in a drawer — each room has a cultural display and the RAP on its curriculum. It’s a part of our identity, culture and environment.”
While Goodstart as a provider “is definitely on the right path,” there is “a long way to go,” Ms Bell acknowledged.
“Our centre has three other educators who identify as Aboriginal,” she continued, “but I’d love to see more First Nations people join us.”
“We are working at the local level to build meaningful connections with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, families, and children, and educating children and educators about why Reconciliation action matters. Personally, I hope to make a difference by supporting other Centre Directors on their Reconciliation journey at their centres.”
For more information about Goodstart Early Learning’s Reconciliation journey, please see here.