Gathered around their prayer table the children of St Anthony’s Kindergarten in Alexandra Hills are starting their day by paying their respects to the sky, land and waters that they share with the Quandamooka people.
Educators Paul and Heather lead the children in this beautiful, age-appropriate acknowledgement of country, which they recite together, accompanied with selected hand movements.
The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2023, Be a Voice for Generations, encourages all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives – where we live, work and socialise.
Catholic Early EdCare General Manager of Program and Practice, Kirsten Holland, said celebrating diversity and providing opportunities for children to understand and show respect for different cultural traditions is part of everyday life across its 130 services.
“The promotion and understanding of Australia’s First Nation’s histories, knowledge systems, culture and languages is an important part of reconciliation and an expectation of the National Learning Frameworks,” said Ms Holland.
“Acknowledging the value of developing reciprocal relationships and connections with First Nation’s cultures, countries and languages helps children develop cultural responsiveness, and for our First Nations’ children attending our services, a sense of belonging.
“Whether it’s through play, art, song, stories or daily rituals, our educators are led by the natural interests of children, to know more about our shared histories in ways that are meaningful for them.”
At St Kevin’s, one of the local Elders regularly visits the service to read stories and support the children to investigate how they are connected to Kombumerri country.
To mark National Sorry Day on 26 May, the children from Star of the Sea Long Day Care + Kindergarten in Cleveland made a collage of native hibiscus, or desert roses to symbolise the strength and resilience shown by those removed from their homelands language, culture and family only two generations ago, and amplify their voices.
Brisbane Catholic Education recently announced a First Nations Language Curriculum aimed at empowering its 77,000 students to engage authentically and sensitively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities.
Students from as young as Prep will learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander song, dance, art, and language within a context which makes sense to their geographic location and connection to local First Nations Peoples and Groups.
Ms Holland welcomed the announcement and felt confident that children from Catholic Early EdCare would be well prepared to engage positively with this important part of their relationship and connection with the school and its curriculum.
Kindergarten is an important time in every child’s life. At Catholic Early EdCare, our teachers will nurture your child’s love of learning and ensure they develop the skills for a successful transition to prep. Find your nearest kindergarten or talk to our friendly team.