Dance, Drought and Dedication
Posted on By Jessica Staines
The educators who are part of the Koori Curriculum educator community were delighted to participate in a practical dance workshop this week delivered by the marvellous Jasmin Shepphard.
Jasmin is a proud Aboriginal woman from the Tagalaka and Kurtijar peoples of the Kunjin Nations. Jasmin is best known as being an ex senior dancer of Bangarra Dance Company and so far her dance career has reflected a deep connection to her culture and commitment to exploring social and political issues.
Jasmin pieced together a thoughtful session that equipped educators with a deeper understanding of dance pedagogy and practical experiences that they could facilitate with children in their services. All the participants were so grateful for the opportunity to participate in this master class session.
The Koori Curriculum Educator Yarning Circle met his month at Hampshire House Early Learning Centre attached to Kambala School in Rosebay, Sydney. After the dance masterclass with Jasmin educators were invited to tour the early learning service and view their stunning learning environments and innovative program.
This week also saw Jessica Staines, Director of the Koori Curriculum deliver several professional development workshops. Jessica delivered the Koori Curriculums workshop "Embedding Aboriginal Perspectives in Early Learning Curriculums" to Only ELC in Norwest and Little Learners in Wyong.
Jessica was really happy to see the dedication at both of these services in how they were privileging Aboriginal programs. Educators had a done a great job of signalling to community through displaying symbols such as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags, hanging art work made in collaboration with Aboriginal artists in residence and respectfully displaying an Acknowledgement of Country. All of these signs were signalling that the educators had establish a foundation of respect and had begun developing relationships with members of their local Aboriginal community.
On the weekend Jessica embarked on a road trip with her Mum, Debbie over the mountains to Wiradjuri Country in Mudgee. Jessica was honoured to be asked to deliver a customised workshop to educators from both the local and broader community. Alicia from the Local Aboriginal Lands Council was also able to attend the session and offered lots of local advise and knowledge spefically in relation to the Mudgee Aboriginal comunity.
Jessica had been to Mudgee twelve months earlier and was shocked to see how devestating the drought had been in the area during this period. Jessica has been sharing her experience of the drought in her professional development workshops and is hoping that her stories of visitting communities around Australia like Mudgee who are being affected by the drought cause educators to reflect on the ethics of "water play" experiences that they faciliate in their program as we move into the summer months.