At YWCA Canberra we value the importance of reconciliation and commit ourselves to the participation and movement towards a more equal, just and unified country. During this time of celebration, we reflect on the strengths, resilience and contributions of our fellow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and extend our support to all areas of reconciliation that still requires attention.
In honour of National Reconciliation Week (NRW), our early childhood education and care services have organised a number of experiences to engage children in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness. During these experiences, we aim to enlighten the children of the many incredible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of thinking, teaching and living. We hope that by instilling these values early on, we can encourage children to think about the importance of Indigenous culture as they continue to move throughout their life.
At our Currawong Early Childhood Centre, our brilliant staff have organised a Ngunnawal language dance service to celebrate the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community. During this activity, pre-schoolers will be involved in a range of experiences where they will get to identify the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, symbols and colours from a small selection of pictures. Following this, the children will then have the opportunity to craft paper plate snakes, inspired by the dream time story of the Rainbow Serpent.
In the toddler room, our educators will be working with the children to create a “We are all one,” poster that will be decorated with beautiful colours and painted handprints. The purpose of this poster is to highlight the diverse ethnic groups that make up our country and represent a symbol of unity for NRW.
Lastly, to tie in the themes of reconciliation, educators will paint the nursery with all colours of the Aboriginal, Australian, and Torres Strait Islander Flags. Upon creating this display the educators will then talk to the children about the meanings behind each of the colours and symbols.
At our Conder Early Childhood Service, our educators have planned to create a display in the foyer acknowledging the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people of the land.
For our pre-schoolers, our educators will be conducting an Acknowledgement of Country within the foyer as a way to introduce the children to the presence and significance of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
In the baby room, educators will be working with the children to create a special artwork to be hung on the wall. The artwork will consist of the children’s hands and footprints and will be used to represent a symbol of unity for reconciliation week.
In the toddler room, the children will be participating in a range of crafting activities where they will be creating artworks using photos and prints of the land.
Lastly, to help the children stay engaged with Indigenous culture throughout the week, our staff will be exposing the children to different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, symbols and stories to help raise cultural awareness.
In celebration of National Reconciliation Week, our Fairley Early Childhood Services team have organised a range of activities that allow both our staff and the children to participate in.
In the Nursery room, children will have the ability to participate in a range of sensory activities, where they will be able to touch textures found in Aboriginal artworks while listening to stories of Aboriginal artists.
During the week, the toddler room will also be converted into a nature floor book space, where children will be encouraged to make connections between nature play and Playing on Country.
Lastly, for the children in our pre-school cohort, our educators will be screening Warumuk on ABC, a collaborative dance performance between Bangarra and the Australian Ballet.