Daily ‘Out & About’ walks support Gowrie at The Harbour to connect with community
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Daily ‘Out & About’ walks support Gowrie at The Harbour to connect with community

Daily ‘Out & About’ walks support Gowrie at The Harbour to connect with community

by Freya Lucas

December 07, 2022

Children attending Gowrie at The Harbour, in Melbourne’s Docklands, are well known in their local community. 


Several times a week children of all ages make a short walk to the local shop for baking ingredients, fresh fruit and other necessities, chatting with locals along the way, noticing what’s happening in their neighbourhood, and contributing to the community. 


As well as the shops, the children visit local primary schools, the library, the Museum or Federation Square, or it might simply be a walk down to Birrarung to enjoy a story. Whatever the outing, children from Gowrie at The Harbour are recognised as active and visible members of the community.


These excursions are part of the ‘Out & About’ program offered by the service, something which educational leader Sam Fernandez said plays a key role in helping nurture children’s sense of belonging, curiosity and self-empowerment.


Many of the excursions involve catching public transport, which offers children a great opportunity to learn about public transport etiquette, crossing streets and being aware of people around them. 


“The Out & About program is also intertwined with other aspects of the pedagogical framework and curriculum,” Sam told local news source Docklands News


“Docklands has many sites of First Nations significance so it’s only natural that we explore our local area as a means for further connection and learning in relation to reconciliation. There’s so much opportunity here for amazing learning and child-led engagement.”


Recent excursions to the Koorie Heritage Trust, Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum and Big Esso’s Mabu Mabu restaurant were an extension of the First Nations Knowings program, added Early Childhood Teacher Carla Beslagic. 


Children from the birth to kindergarten program learnt more about Bunjil’s story and the role of possum skin cloaks in First Nations culture at Bunjilaka while at Mabu Mabu. They sampled saltbush and wattle seed damper and yams with pickled karkalla (pigface), and shared stories and knowledge with each other and the Mabu Mabu staff and owner.


Birrarung is of special significance to the service, as Docklands is where Birrarung opens to the ocean. Through experiences and time spent engaging with Birrarung, the children have come to understand that different cultures or peoples have different beliefs and different perspectives on creation. Gowrie at The Harbour encourages the children to respond to these with respect, by listening to them, learning with them, and encountering them.


Gowrie at The Harbour and Gowrie Docklands Kinder are currently enrolling for places in 2023.


For more information about Gowrie at The Harbour and Gowrie Docklands Kinder call (03) 8624 1000 or visit gowrievictoria.org.au/docklands 


To read the original coverage of this story, please see here

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