This week the Koori Curriculum jet setters met with educators in both Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne to facilitate various workshops aimed to support the respectful inclusion of Aboriginal perspectives in early childhood curriculums. Jessica Staines, Director of the Koori Curriculum began her week on Ngunnawal country meeting with Directors, Principals and Educators from the ACTs Koori Pres program.
Jessica delivered one of the Koori Curriculums latest workshops “Working with the principles of The Aboriginal Early Childhood Practice Guide”. This is a holistic workshop developed from the text that Jessica co-edited in 2018 “The Aboriginal Early Childhood Practice Guide” that has been transforming the practices of educators across Australia.
This workshop was delivered on the beautiful grounds of the Australian Botanical Gardens. The participants were surrounded by Australian plants and wildlife and some of the gardens rangers participated and shared their knowledge with participants throughout the session.
After Canberra Jessica headed down to Melbourne to meet with and mentor some small educator groups and deliver two workshops. First stop was meeting with the AMAZING educators from Hey Dee Ho, Drummond St Services and Hullaballoo Music. Amanda Testro one of the facilitators presented her travelling music show “All Come Out to Play” which showcases inclusive practices and challenges gender stereotypes in subtle ways. Jessica was able to provide feedback and strategies on how they music show could also foster Aboriginal perspectives.
The next day the Koori Curriculum hosted a public workshop in Docklands on Embedding Aboriginal Perspectives in Early Learning Curriculums. Jessica met with educators from a variety of services both in and surrounding Melbourne. This was the first public workshop that the Koori Curriculum has hosted in Victoria and we were absolutely stunned by the response that we received. It has been lovely to witness the many many educators who are so passionate about inclusive practices and ensuring that they do it right.
Before the Koori Curriculums time in Melbourne was complete they delivered their final workshop for the week at Orchard Road Early Learning Centre in Doreen. During this workshop Jessica discussed with educators the importance of sourcing authentic Aboriginal art and provided practical inexpensive options. Participants also had the opportunity to engage in hands on art experiences enabling them to gain confidence and skills to take back into the class room with children.
Here is what some participants had to say about the Koori Curriculum workshops this week:
“Feeling so much more confident about my curriculum and the knowledge I am imparting to the children in my care. Highly recommend doing Jessica’s workshops. Doesn’t matter where you are in your journey, I promise you’ll learn something new”. – Anabel
“I would like to say how much I enjoyed today and cant wait to go back to my centre next week and get started” – Karen
“Thank you so much for a fabulous day today! My mind is brimming.” – Katie