Creating cultural connections through everyday learning

Exploring shared culture is part of the everyday at Catholic Early EdCare. This NAIDOC Week, the kindergarten children from services on Quandamooka land proudly showcase all the ways they honour First Peoples of Australia.

  • 01 July 2024

Integrating the spirit of reconciliation into learning experiences is an integral part of the daily routine at Catholic Early EdCare. This NAIDOC Week (7-14 July), the kindergarten children from services on Quandamooka land proudly showcase all the ways they honour the histories, cultures, and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

At St Anthony’s Kindergarten in Alexandra Hills, the children begin each day with a heartfelt, age-appropriate Acknowledgement of Country. Sitting in a circle, they pay their respects to the sky, land, and waters shared with the Quandamooka people, using meaningful hand movements to deepen their connection and understanding. 

At Star of the Sea Long Day Care + Kindergarten in Cleveland, the children are encouraged to pause throughout their day and practice Dadirri – a deep listening practice that encourages children to appreciate the importance of stillness and understanding. 

Linda Daniel, Director at Star of the Sea, emphasizes that celebrating diversity is at the heart of the Catholic Early EdCare ethos. Educators at the centre recognize the value of even the smallest actions in fostering respect and understanding. 

“Guided by the Early Years Learning Framework, we strive to provide meaningful tools and resources that support reconciliation efforts and instil in children a sense of connection to a broader community,” said Ms. Daniel. “The children are introduced to cultural symbols through engaging activities such as story time books, puzzles, and memory games. They enjoy producing their own creations using boomerangs and sand drawings, as well as a wide range of other mediums.” 

The theme for NAIDOC Week 2024, Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud, and Proud, encourages all Australians to listen, learn, and engage in meaningful dialogue, fostering a society where the wisdom and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – First Peoples of Australia are fully valued and respected. 

This aligns seamlessly with our second Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), in partnership with the Archdiocese of Brisbane. RAP Project Manager Joni McCourt said it was incredible to see the children in early years services embracing and learning First Nations culture through engaging activities.  

“Exploring reconciliation is really important and a powerful way to teach children in early years about culture and introduce them to concepts such as respect, equity, and justice,” said Ms McCourt.  

“As an Aboriginal person and the RAP Manager, it gives me great hope for our future generations that children are learning about our culture, shared histories, and developing respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities. This is where we can make a positive impact with reconciliation and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

“Reconciliation is everyone’s business. It is where we live, work, play, and pray. It is heartening to see educators engaged and enthusiastic in the reconciliation journey, providing opportunities for children to celebrate the rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and contributions, stories, art, and dance.” 

Kindergarten is an important time in every child’s life. Our teachers nurture an environment of acceptance and respect for differences to cultivate a space where every child feels valued and understood. Find your nearest kindergarten or talk to our friendly team.