‘Because of her, we can’, is a phrase that has been spoken about with my 3-4 year old Bumblebee’s at Explore and Develop Penrith South.
For the last few weeks we have discussed the special women in our lives, our Mums, Nans, Omas, Aunts, just to name a few.
The children eagerly announced who they thought should go up on our NAIDOC Wall of Respect, then set out on a mission to ask their families to bring in photos of themselves with their chosen females.
‘Why have you chosen this lady?’ I asked William - 3yrs
‘Coz she gets babies in hospital and looks after the mummies’ - (William’s mummy is a Midwife who delivers, supports and cares for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women during their birth).
‘Why is your Nanny special?’ I asked Lara - 3yrs
‘My nana buys me ice cream. I love her’.
The way the children, even at this age, demonstrated how they love and respect the women in their lives was just beautiful to see.
Within no time at all, our NAIDOC Wall of Respect became a beautiful recognition of how, ‘Because of her, we can’.
Leading up to NAIDOC Week, I had the exciting opportunity to meet one of my favourite children’s authors and illustrators, Bronwyn Bancroft at the Aboriginal Early Childhood Conference. This was a perfect opportunity to show off the photo of our team with Bronwyn, and inform the Bumblebee’s that we would be looking at some of Bronwyn’s stories as well as her art during NAIDOC Week. Even though we have read many of Bronwyn’s books, we have never really delved in to the artwork that jumps out at you on every page.
‘Big Rain Coming’ was the first story which captured our Bumblebee’s attention when offered the choice of books laid out on the table. They were keen to look at the pages and the colours that represented meaning on each page. The yellow tones for the sun, the blues, green’s and purples for the Billabong and the dark grey and black for the storm clouds.
The children listened to the story, before the book was placed on our writing table as a provocation for our drawing experience. Some wonderful illustrations were made by some of our children, with representations of colours that matched the artwork in the book.
As we moved into NAIDOC Week, enthusiasm to use our fire pit became a focal point in our experiences each day.
We had previously spoken about bush tucker and how certain foods were hunted for, using different tools and cooked using natural materials. This was revisited and through these continued discussions, it lead us into wanting to cook some foods that we wouldn’t necessarily taste in our everyday meals at home.
Barramundi, Damper and Kangaroo, were all part of our menu during NAIDOC Week and the Bumblebees were ever so keen to share their cooking experiences over the fire pit, with their fellow peers across the centre.
Many of our younger friends came and sat, had a yarn and watched as our Bumblebees got to work in cooking up a family feast each day for our Explore and Develop peers, and boy was it appreciated across the Service!
NAIDOC Week has shown our Bumblebee’s that the women in our lives and in our community help shape us as we grow as we pave our way through life.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are continuing to leave a legacy across our wonderful nation, which should be acknowledged and respected. This will certainly be done here at Explore and Develop Penrith South. ‘Because of her, we can’.
Emily, Debbie and Lauren