For Warumungu / Wambaya woman Keara Indi Kindi has been transformative
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > For Warumungu / Wambaya woman Keara Indi Kindi has been transformative

For Warumungu / Wambaya woman Keara Indi Kindi has been transformative

by Freya Lucas

September 29, 2022

For many families in remote and regional communities access to early childhood education and care (ECEC) can be difficult, and employment options are few. 


That’s not the case for 22 year old mother Keara, who has not only gained an ECEC position for her daughter, but a meaningful career for herself too. 


Keara, a Warumungu / Wambaya woman  lives in the remote community of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. After her daughter was born, she struggled to find care, and without access to ECEC she couldn’t work as there were no opportunities that allowed her to bring her daughter to work with her.


Earlier this year a place was available for her daughter at an ECEC service. Once her daughter was settled, she started looking for work. An opportunity came up at Indi Kindi, which she applied for and was accepted into the role of team leader.


Delivered by Moriarty Foundation and supported by UNICEF Australia, Indi Kindi is an early childhood initiative for children under five years of age in remote aboriginal communities that integrates education, health and wellbeing.


Following ground-breaking success since 2012 in the remote communities of Borroloola and Robinson River in the Northern Territory, the initiative expanded to Keara’s hometown Tennant Creek and to nearby Mungkarta in 2021.  


The Indi Kindi team in Tennant Creek is made up of six local Aboriginal women who are ‘vibrant, committed and well connected’ within the community. Having an entirely Aboriginal team helps create bonds and trust with the parent, meaning there is no cultural divide between educator and child and parent. 


The Indi Kindi early years initiative has not only given opportunities for children in the area, but also provided employment opportunities for local women to upskill and build careers.


The four educators are all on track to complete their Certificate III in Early Childhood Education within the next 12 months. One of the educators and Warumungu/Bidjara woman, Katie, has also completed first aid training, Bronze Medallion (qualification as a lifesaver) along with Trauma Informed Care training.


“I was proud of myself [for] getting a full-time job at Indi Kindi. I feel like I am growing my career and going up a level,” Katie said.


The entire team has a passion for learning –  for their students and for themselves. They recently visited Jerry, an Elder in the community, to learn more about bush tucker. They plan to bring the Indi Kindi students back to Jerry’s for an educational excursion.


In Mungkarta, a one hour drive south of Tennant Creek, the only school in the remote community has provided Indi Kindi with a classroom for children under five to attend, learn and have morning tea.


After this, they travel with their educators to outdoor locations to do ‘Walking Learning’ activities on Country. The parents attend with their children and learn along the way too.


The Indi Kindi educators work alongside other local services to collaborate on ways to effectively engage with families that have disengaged from services in the hope that they will return to Early Childhood Education and health services.


The inspirational impact to see from the program, so early on, is the transformation of the educator’s lives as they are supported to become professionally qualified educators, sustain full-time employment, are empowered in their personal lives and are now role models in their community.


The Indi Kindi initiative supported by UNICEF Australia aims to give children the best start to life by integrating education, health and wellbeing. The initiative addresses 13 of the 17 Closing the Gap targets.


Learn more about Indi Kindi here. 

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