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Celebrating NAIDOC Week at Explore & Develop Lilyfield

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Bujari gamarruwa ‘good day’   

Explore & Develop Lilyfield strive to embed First Nation perspectives into our curriculum. As NAIDOC is a week that celebrates history, culture and the achievements of First Nation peoples, our educators were eager to take the opportunity to deepen the children’s understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture whilst continuing to build relationships with our local community and celebrate the achievements of First Nation peoples.

In the lead up to NAIDOC week, the pre-schoolers were interested in creating books and sharing their stories. It was from this highlighted interest that educators began to include an Indigenous perspective of storytelling and explained to the children how stories can be told in may different ways.

The children engaged in several games of Spin A Yarn, creating their own stories using Aboriginal symbols. This created discussions about how storytelling is the foundation First Nation peoples artwork. The children were fascinated, as an Aboriginal person I decided to unpack “Indigenous artwork,’ as it’s not all dot painting.

 

Educators discussed and showed the children traditional rock art and engravings found around Sydney. As Sydney is surrounded by beautiful sandstone the educators explained to the children that First Nation art is presented on different types of media and art varies in different parts of Australia (dot, line, diamonds, etc.). On our weekly excursions the children searched for ‘brushes’ to use for their artwork. The children collected sticks, feathers, lomandra, paperbark and leaves.

Before the children created their artwork, they ‘drafted’. It was from these drafts that the children created their own artwork inspired from Aboriginal provocations, using different colours and symbols to represent their story. As NAIDOC week approached the children were in full swing of creating their beautiful artwork.  

 

Throughout NAIDOC week the pre-schoolers celebrated the achievements of Shannon Foster, Sally Morgan and Bronwyn Bancroft. Shannon Foster frequently visits the Wombats. The familiar face and experiences connect and deepened children’s understanding of this years NAIDOC theme; Because of her, We can!

The children have not met Bronwyn Bancroft or Sally Morgan, however the pre-schoolers have listened and viewed all of their books. Celebrating their achievements and of course reading the children’s top pickings.

On Wednesday 11th July, the preschoolers visited Boomalli’s Born into Existence exhibition, celebrating First Nation women in art and from the local community. The children walked around the exhibition and spent time with artist Debra Beale.  

 

Thursday 12th July the children ventured to Glebe to visit Tranby College. The children sat down with Aunty Sonya for Acknowledgment of Country and listened to two Dreaming stories. After the acknowledgement Saskia Sharp gave the children a tour of Tranby. The children looked at the Tranby community art gallery, sat in the boardroom of the Indigenous business hub and checked out the archive centre. Whilst at Tranby the children learnt more about NAIDOC week and what special events are happening at Tranby.

 

NAIDOC week is a week of celebrating. The journey of perspectives and relationships continues to live on day to day at Explore & Develop Lilyfield. I am proud to be sharing my knowledge with the future generations.

 

Jordan Martins

 

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