All she wants for Christmas is safe passage for thongs: One ECT’s quirky conundrum

All she wants for Christmas is safe passage for thongs: One ECT’s quirky conundrum

by Freya Lucas

November 19, 2021

Early childhood teacher (ECT) Kirsten Goldsmith is not only an educator with heart, she’s also an educator with an eye for problem solving, and has reached out to a unique subset of the Australian transport community for help. 


Ms Goldsmith will begin 2022 in the remote Kimberly region of Australia, and prior to leaving her current home in Billinudgel in New South Wales, reached out to current staff to see if she could bring anything with her. 

While the community is well resourced with teacher resources, one thing staff wished they had more of is thongs. Many children in the community are contracting hookworm, an infection mainly acquired by walking barefoot on contaminated soil. 


While walking barefoot to retain a connection to Country is of cultural importance, educators are trying to communicate the need to balance this with remaining healthy and safe. 


After putting out a call on social media, Ms Goldsmith was inundated with donatings, collecting over 2,000 pairs of thongs, or two pallets worth, to take to communities in need. There isn’t the need for so  many pairs in the community where she will be working, so she has partnered with a charity who will help to distribute the thongs across the region. 


Getting the thongs to Kununurra, however, is proving a challenge, with high freight costs making her generous gift a challenge. 


For help, Ms Goldsmith reached out to the trucking community via Big Rigs seeking support from truck drivers who may have room for two extra pallets, and are heading toward Kununurra. 


She’s also started a GoFundMe page to help off-set the costs.


“I’m super thankful for the outpouring of generosity from everyone. I’m hoping we can get the thongs to the Kimberley by Christmas,” Ms Goldsmith told Big Rigs. 


For the original coverage of this story please see here