Melody Ingra shares perspectives on Goodstart’s Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan

Melody Ingra shares perspectives on Goodstart’s Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan

by Freya Lucas

January 04, 2022

Goodstart Early Learning’s National Cultural Liaison Melody Ingra has recently spoken about her passion for early learning, Goodstart Early Learning’s Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), and why it’s important reconciliation is part of every child’s early learning experience.

 

Ms Ingra, a proud Gooreng Gooreng/Wakka Wakka woman from Central Queensland, was raised on Country in Yallarm-Gladstone. She has been an educator in primary and secondary schools in urban, regional and remote communities, and a Principal Project Officer for Early Childhood Education and Care, delivering the Remote Indigenous Professional Development Program to First Nations educators.

 

Her passion for early education comes from her experience in education across many sectors. 

 

One of her roles, she explained, was as an Indigenous Education Advisor, where she set up Murri playgroups for mums with babies that needed somewhere to connect. This, she said, sparked her interest in early childhood. 

 

“I loved working with little people and creating learning experiences for them,” she said. 

 

“I’ve had six children of my own and they all went to early childhood centres. We continue to have a great relationship with one of those centres – my kids can go back and there’s still that sense of belonging. Early childhood for me is important and can provide a strong foundation for children’s journey in education.”

 

This passion helps to support her in her role as National Cultural Liaison at Goodstart, where her role is to support the implementation of the organisation’s Stretch RAP and support the 671 Centres to develop their own through the Narragunnawali platform.

 

“I work with the organisation to weave reconciliation through all it does, based on the five dimensions of reconciliation, and also in the centres, helping them embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in their everyday practices,” Ms Ingra said.

 

“When you teach little people about the First Nations peoples of this country, they straight away have this sense of connection, and this creates a ripple effect. At Goodstart we have 72,000 children, so that’s 72,000 families we impact. When these kids grow up knowing the Traditional Owners of Country, they cherish the Custodianship of the Land.”

 

I think all children should grow up knowing whose land they’re on and that’s how they grow to respect Country and respect First Nations people. By learning about First Nations peoples, history and cultures through genuine experiences, they develop understanding, empathy and connection.”

 

Ms Ingra’s thoughts were shared in the extract of an interview, published on the Narragunnawali website. To view the original coverage, please see here

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