Bomaderry Community Preschool features in international ECEC conference
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Bomaderry Community Preschool features in international ECEC conference

by Freya Lucas

December 13, 2022

The creative talents of children at Bomaderry Community Preschool were on display at an international exhibition in Athens recently as part of the International Voices of Children project


The children joined over 1,500 other preschool children across 12 countries for the project, an initiative to support young children’s voices to be heard and valued through the visual arts. As a result of the project, two online galleries were established to complement the live gallery exhibition which was held at the Hellenic Cosmos Foundation in Athens, to coincide with the 2022 Bright Start International Conference held from 9–11 December 2022.


University of Wollongong (UOW) Senior Lecturer Dr Gai Lindsay and Professor Ian Brown are the academic leads for the Voices of Children project, with Dr Lindsay explaining that the exhibition is an important way young children can have their voices heard.


“The important benefits of arts experiences in the early years are widely documented and art is central to a child’s learning in early childhood settings,” Dr Lindsay said.


“Though children may still have much to learn, they have already learned so much. They can teach us so much about fairness, equity, love and care.”


The Voices of Children project was established in 2004 by UOW researchers. The project originally explored the lives of children and young people in several different countries through the images they produce, using disposable cameras, as well as written responses to questions about themselves, their families and their worlds.


“This year is the first time we invited children aged from three to six years of age to capture moments in time, highlight their creativity, share their art and tell the world what is special to them,” Dr Lindsay said.


“Young children wonder big things and think big things. Through their artworks and artist statements children can teach us how to treasure the things that really matter, if we care to listen.”


The artworks and messages in the 2022 exhibition reveal a diverse range of topics young children care about. Family topics were very popular, with love for family, pets and toys common themes. 


The Voices of Children project also revealed that children aged from three to six years of age care about big issues too, with many artworks and artists’ statements focusing on the pandemic, war, environmental sustainability and how to make the world a kinder and more loving place.


The two other Australian centres included in the exhibition include KU Bradfield Park in West Lindfield, New South Wales; and P.L.A.Y with a Purpose in Murray Bridge, South Australia.

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