National Reconciliation Week – 27 May to 3 June – is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to also explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2023 is Be a Voice for Generations and Reconciliation Australia asks us, “How will you be a Voice for Generations?”
Narrandera Preschool reflected on how we wanted to acknowledge this week but also wanted to ensure that we adhered to our Centre Philosophy as reconciliation for us extends beyond this week, it’s embedded into our daily practices.
Some of our daily practices are completing an Acknowledgment of Country with the children each morning, showcasing Aboriginal Artworks and Artefacts within the centre and engaging with local businesses to provide us with different resources for the children.
We began our Reconciliation Week journey by encouraging the wider Narrandera Community to share what reconciliation means to them through drawing pictures or writing a few words on a heart.
We welcomed everyone to either pick up a template from Narrandera Preschool and drop them back once completed or they could utilise the table that was set up out the front of our centre with pencils and heart templates.
Once all the hearts were returned, we added them to our Sea of Hearts display and welcomed the community to view our display and complete a heart during reconciliation week, if they hadn’t already.
On National Sorry Day, we undertook a simple but effective activity of engaging with the ‘Sorry Day’ storybook written by Coral Vass, followed by asking the children, “What does sorry mean?”. There were many extended discussions from this, as the children added to each other's thoughts, and we noted down their answers.
As Reconciliation Week progressed, we decided that we wanted a collaborative approach across both our rooms and showcased these through completing a poster of our engagements as the week progressed.
We began reading the children a different book each day and using these amazing stories to guide our conversations and utilise them as reflective pieces and foster further activities; such as, a play space with Indigenous resources, creating purple hibiscus to accompany our reconciliation week display and singing along with tapping sticks to Aunty Wendy’s Mob.
We also wanted to use our voice and our platform on Instagram to acknowledge and share some amazing businesses during Reconciliation Week.
We began by sharing one business each day but by Thursday, we recognised that there were many local small businesses who also deserved a shoutout, so we changed our initial plan and mentioned a few small businesses together.
We believe this was such a small but powerful way to show our support for local Indigenous Businesses and business owners.
Reconciliation is not just about acknowledging the past, it’s about pursing meaningful action today, to shape a better tomorrow.