Director of the Koori Curriculum, Jessica Staines is a board member for the Social Justice in Early Childhood group and this weekend saw the 15th Throwing The Baby Out With The Bathwater Conference at Redfern Community Centre.
Jessica opened the conference with a special Acknowledgement of Country. Delegates joined Jessica in watching snippets from the Play School Acknowledgement of Country episode which aired for the fist time during NAIDOC week. The episodes Acknowledgement of Country was inspired by Aunty Tracey Bostocks Acknowledgement poem which many early childhood educators have shared over the years.
The Koori Curriculum is a sponsor of the conferences Anti Bias awards and this year the committee were delighted to see so many applicants apply. Jessica was honoured to be part of the award ceremony where Courtney Glazebrook, Director of Towri MACS in Bathurst received the individual award for her incredible advocacy work and the team from Kelly's Place Children's Centre in Crows Nest received the team award.
Jessica will be sharing more of Courtneys story and advocacy in the coming weeks. Courtney has been advocating for the families and children at Towri for many years to ensure the service stays open and accessible to the local Aboriginal community who so desperately value and need their children to be involved in this culturally safe program.
The team at Kelly's Place were acknowledged for their advocacy work in campaigning to have the Aboriginal flag permanently flown on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. To learn more about their work be sure to like and follow their facebook page "Help Kelly's Kids Fly the Flag".
Jessica was also excited to introduce the Teacher Research panel that Red and herself had mentored throughout the course of their projects. Helen Smith educator at Ella in Haberfield shared her project on age discrimination in the birth - two room, Christina Bezzo ex Director of Hornsby TAFE shared her journey on ensuring the service was accessible and inclusive for every child, including children with severe disabilities and Brigitte Mitchel an amazing casual teacher shared her experience of being a life long advocate in early childhood.
If you missed this years conference be sure to join the Social Justice in Early Childhood Facebook Group to be connected with social justice warriors in our profession.