It’s hard to believe we are in preparation for the third Aboriginal Early Childhood Conference! How did that happen?
Dr Red Ruby Scarlet and I hosted the inaugraul conference in 2018 which was a one day seminar that launched our book The Aboriginal Early Childhood Practice Guide. We had no idea at the time how celebrated both our text and conference would become in the early childhood profession.
In hindsight I now realise that what we did was extend an olive branch to many non-indigenous educators inviting them to join us and be a part of a movement of change. Often when I deliver a workshop I ask delegates to raise their hand if they think that Aboriginal culture and history was taught well to them in their schooling, you can imagine that very few hands are raised.
For many educators we have to unlearn before we can relearn and we have to begin to change the way that historically Aboriginal perspectives have been included in early learning programs. However, we don’t know what we don’t know.
The Aboriginal Early Childhood Conference is a safe space for educators to relearn. Educators are surrounded by others who are like minded and who have previously been trodding down the same path in isolation. Whilst every educators context is different most experience the same obstacles and challenges and when they attend our conference they join a community.
In 2019 we created a platform and space for educators to share their journeys and stories. Workshops were packed to the rafters with educators thirsty to learn and hear from other teachers who were walking the talk. These workshops were relatable, reassuring and practical.
The Aboriginal Early Childhood Conference is back in June 2020 where for the very first time we are focussing strongly on another niche area of curriculum, STEM. This year their wont be break out sessions but every keynote has a complimenting table top experiences for educators to engage with. Hands on, tactile learning is a big component of what we want to bring in 2020, experiences that tantalise all the senses.