The Koori Curriculums adventures continued this week and as usual they did not disappoint. This week Jessica found herself visiting three early learning services scattered across Sydney before road tripping down to Canberra for Northside Children Services NQF Perspectives Conference.
(Picture above taken at Jack and Jill Preschool in Bexley of Aboriginal Early Childhood Conference 2019 Keynotes Johanna Bell and Dion Beasleys book "Go Home Cheeky Animals" with dog ornaments from Waralukulangu Art Centre.)
On Monday morning the Koori Curriculum visited Jack and Jill Preschool in Bexley where Jessica delivered an introduction to Aboriginal History and Culture workshop. This in-service aims to ensure a shared understanding regarding Australia's Aboriginal history which in turn supports participants to better comprehend the effects of intergenerational trauma and how this effects their role as early childhood educators.
Monday afternoon saw Jessica visiting the early learning team at Kincoppal Rose Bay where she yarned with the team about beginning their Reconciliation journey. Jessica is a huge supporter of Reconciliation Australia's Narragunnawali program and feels this is an essential ingredient for any early learning service embarking to better include Aboriginal perspectives in their program.
This week the Koori Curriculum also had the joy of visiting the children at Kelly's Place Children's Centre in Crows Nest. Jessica has been working with this team of amazing educators for the past two years and was ecstatic to hear about their latest project.
Last year the team at Kelly's Place officially began their reconciliation journey with Narragunnawali. One of the actions that the team undertook was to find a way to permanently fly the three flags of Australia at Kellys Place.
Shortly after the flags were erected at the centre a child and their family were passing over the Harbour Bridge when they noticed the absence of the Aboriginal flag. Upon returning to the centre the child shared with their educators and peers what they'd observed and voiced that they felt it wasn't fair that the Aboriginal flag wasn't being flown.
Fast forward to now and the team at Kelly's Place have begun working with Cheree Toka who has been campaigning to have the Aboriginal flag permanently flown on top of the Harbour Bridge. Whilst their is an electronic petition Cheree needs 10 000 hard copy signatures to get the notion brought before the Legislative Assembly.
The children at Kelly's Place quickly jumped on board and hit the streets of their local community collecting as many signatures as they could. However they quickly exhausted their immediate sphere of influence and decided to reach out the Jessica, Director of the Koori Curriculum for help.
Together Kelly's Place and Jessica hatched a plan to broaden the children's advocacy work and sphere of influence. Firstly, was the development of a facebook page titled "Help Kelly's Kids Fly The Flag". This page documents the children's journey up until now and invites other early learning services to begin collecting signatures in their community. Secondly Jessica accompanied by a mascot Eddie the Quoll would act as an ambassador for the children and share their advocacy work with other educators on her travels.
The project came at an opportune time as Jessica was days away from heading to Canberra to take part in the NQF Perspectives Conference by Northside Children's Centre.
Jessica co-presented at the conference with Dr Red Ruby Scarlet sharing the five principles of The Aboriginal Early Childhood Practice Guide. The fifth principle as many of you know is "Working with Anti-Bias Approaches". The 3rd and 4th goal of the Anti Bias Curriculum is for children to recognise unfairness and have the skills and strategies to address it. What better way to show the participants what these goals look like in practice then to invite them to sign the petition.
If you would like to get involved please:
1) Like and follow the Kelly's Kids Fb Page "Help Kelly's Kids Fly The Flag".
2) Collect signatures at your centre
3) Post the signatures back to Kelly's Place or drop them off to the children who are attending The Aboriginal Early Childhood Conference in June
Always WILL BE