Aspire Early Education and Kindergarten celebrates NAIDOC Week with RAP Launch
Aspire Early Education and Kindergarten is making strong inroads into reconciliation, celebrating NAIDOC Week, reflecting on the 2023 theme For Our Elders, and sharing information about the launch of the organisation’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
NAIDOC Week is an important occasion in the Aspire curriculum and provides an opportunity for educators to teach children about First Nations culture through different stories, activities, and experiences.
Although National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week are significant occasions to recognise in the curriculum, an Aspire representative said, the provider knows the importance of continually celebrating First Nations culture and history throughout the year, and not just for one week.
Aspire Early Education currently has 14 centres across Melbourne, and many of the centres have begun implementing reconciliation practices and integrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture throughout their centres.
Atherstone leads the way
The Aspire Early Education and Kindergarten centre in Atherstone was the first Aspire centre to launch its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) earlier this year. The RAP formalises the centre’s commitment to reconciliation and ensures that the team are continually working towards always being a culturally inclusive organisation.
“Our team is committed to respectfully embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ perspectives across the curriculum and ensuring consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples takes place,” Ivran Kaur, Educational Leader at Aspire Atherstone shared.
Aspire Atherstone celebrated the launch of its RAP on 28 March with an event which included a didgeridoo and beats experience. Aspire staff and management team attended, as well as council members from Melton City Council.
“It was a privilege to attend the launch of Aspire Early Education Atherstone’s first reconciliation action plan,” Melton’s Deputy Mayor Councillor Julie Shannon said.
“Such wonderful staff and educators, determined to assist those in their care and understand our nation’s Indigenous (sic.) heritage.”
Aspire Atherstone’s Reconciliation plan sets out 14 action points including:
- Engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the classroom
- Building relationships with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
- Conducting an Acknowledgement of Country at meetings and events throughout the year
- Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures in curriculum planning, development, and evaluation processes
Changes are taking place
Following Atherstone’s RAP launch, Aspire has seen many positive changes with the children, as well as staff and their discussions.
“We have noticed a difference in the conversations with the children which is amazing,” Ms Kaur says.
“They are talking about the land, flags, and didgeridoo, and using cardboard in their artwork, which is all a result of the meaningful interactions we are having at our service,” she continued.
“We at Aspire Atherstone are proud of what we have achieved in our journey toward reconciliation and know that it is a continuous journey we are working on together.”
Many other Aspire’s centres have also embedded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture in their centre, through children’s artwork in the rooms, exhibits displayed in the foyer, professional paintings on the walls, and the Aboriginal flag hanging on the ceiling.
Since March, Aspire’s Cobblebank centre has also launched its Reconciliation Action Plan, and many other Aspire centres will be formalising their own plans in the coming months.
Aspire is proud of their reconciliation journey so far and will continue to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ histories, perspectives, and cultures so that they can promote acceptance and healing with families and other stakeholders.
To learn more about Aspire Early Education and Kindergarten and its programs, visit the website here.
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