Casino preschoolers celebrate Beef Week
The Sector > Provider > General News > Casino’s preschoolers saddle up to embrace all that Beef Week has to offer

Casino’s preschoolers saddle up to embrace all that Beef Week has to offer

by Freya Lucas

May 29, 2024

Beef Week is an annual celebration of the Australian beef industry, and of the rural way of life.


For preschool children growing up in the New South Wales town of Casino, Beef Week is a much anticipated celebration which allows them to connect with their community and celebrate the spirit of country, rural life and agriculture,” she said. 


Held May 18 – May 26 in 2024, Beef Week was a nine day event providing entertainment, education and experiences for children and families, with over 100 individual events bringing visitors to the region from interstate and overseas. 


From whip cracking demonstrations, hat-throwing competitions, a moo-off and hobby-horse relays, there was plenty for children from Casino Public School’s Djanangmum Preschool and Casino West Public School’s Little Jarjums Preschool to do. 


Some services, such as Djanangmum Preschool also joined in their school’s Muster Day activities. 


Djanangmum Preschool teacher Emily Roalfe said the school’s Muster Day had run for more than 40 years – and the preschool had been participating for 30 years. 


 “We keep it simple, it’s the old style coming together- it’s not always about how fancy something looks or is, but it’s the connection built in those times,” Ms Roalfe said. 


 “We’re the beef capital of Australia and we have a rich history in agriculture. 


 “It’s a time of year we want to celebrate how significant a part of us it is, our local culture, our traditions and the generational connections here.”


 “The school being involved is a key part of us connecting with our community.” 


The beef industry employs several children’s family members, and often parents and staff have fond memories of attending Muster Days during their time with the school. 


 “The memories aren’t just held somewhere in an archive – they’re held by staff, the children, their families, their grandparents who went to school here,” Ms Roalfe said. 


 “It’s very multi-generational.” 


 Muster Day started with a visit from mounted police before preschoolers performed the heel-toe polka and paraded in their costumes to match the Beef Week theme, Retro Rewind. 


Djanangmum preschoolers enjoyed a barbecue lunch, which included a disco ball sub, before participating in relays on hobby horses and using rope to lasso chairs in the afternoon. 


Casino West Public School’s Little Jarjums Preschool joined in their school’s Beef Week Hoe Down. 


Little Jarjums Preschool teacher Amy Clark said Beef Week was more than just a festival. 


“It’s the core of our community, alive with the spirit of country, rural life and agriculture,” she said. 


“For our preschool and school, it’s not just an event to mark on the calendar, it’s a vital opportunity to weave tighter bonds with our community, engage deeply with our roots, and celebrate the essence of Casino’s dynamic history.” 


In the lead up to Beef Week, she continued, preschool teachers and educators spoke with the children about why it was such a significant event in Casino. 


 “Through these discussions, they learn about the values of community, tradition, and unity,” she said.


“It’s a time for them to connect with their heritage, express themselves, and celebrate the unique identity of Casino West.” 


 Little Jarjums preschoolers enjoyed a whip-cracking demonstration, participated in a moo-off, paraded in their farmer costumes and joined in a throw-the-hat-on-the-cowboy game. 


They also enjoyed a barbecue lunch, performed a dance, and watched teachers, older peers and parents participate in a relay to dress a mannequin as a farmer. 


Ms Roalfe and Ms Clark said preschoolers participating in whole-school events, including during Beef Week, helped them develop social skills, fostered connections and a sense of belonging and made their transition to Kindergarten smoother.


Learn more about the tradition of Beef Week in Casino here

Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button