When our mascot arrived, we were so happy to see that it was a bird!
Our children are fascinated and passionate about Australian birds because we have so many visit our playground every day, including Rosellas!
We looked through our Miromaa language resources and found that the word for Rosella in the Awabakal language is "Tunang", and we decided that this should be our new mascots name.
Tunang was first introduced to children in the Sugar Glider Room where she was enthusiastically embraced by a group of toddlers who took her over to meet all the other Australian (puppet) animals.
This became a ritual every time they saw her. Tunang also took part in the daily Acknowledgement of Country, followed by a high five to the enthralled toddlers and babies.
We took this opportunity to talk about the Rosellas that visit our yard and the nuts and blossoms that they eat there.
Our preschool aged children in the Lilly Pilly class also delighted in Tunang's arrival.
She joined them in their "Backyard Birds" activity in which the children had printed pictures of birds that we often see in our yard.
This activity had been inspired by the discovery of some feathers found on the ground after a particularly windy day.
We wondered which bird had dropped these feathers? "Not me!" said Tunang.
On another day, the Lilly Pilly children took Tunang on a tour of the playground.
They showed her the trees and the different plants in our bush tucker garden including some almost ripe Lilly pilly berries and also wild currant and lemon myrtle bushes. They also showed her the almost ready to pick oranges on the orange tree and the pineapple sage bushes that attract beautiful bees every year.
A group of children decided to build Tunang a shelter, gathering wood and leaves together and building them up into a Gunyah. They also built her a little camp-fire. This reminded them that our Campfire Day was coming up soon and off they went, taking Tunang on a 'kindling gathering' adventure!!
Some days Tunang would stay inside, and other days she joined the children on their outdoor adventures, singing and dancing with the tapping sticks, painting leaves or building spiders webs with string.
There was always lots to do!
Our first ever campfire day finally arrived and the children were so excited!!
We were joined by Aunty Steff of Numa Ngarra who helps us learn more about Aboriginal culture through various workshops and has become an integral part of our Charlestown Childcare family.
She was very excited to meet Tunang and held her as we said our Acknowledgement of Country. Tunang then watched on as Aunty Steff lit the fire and spoke to the children about the importance of fire to the Aboriginal people.
She had also prepared some damper that the children cooked on a stick before indulging in sticky delight!
All too soon, it was time for Tunang to return to her home and there were many hugs and high fives before the children sadly said goodbye.
We wish her all the best on her travels but hope that she remembers us and her visit to Charlestown fondly. We will miss you Tunang!
Get the resources
This colorful and playful Eastern Rosella full-body Hand puppet is from the Australian Native collection and has been carefully hand crafted in partnership with wildlife experts and brought to life with meticulous attention to detail.
This Rosella's bright and striking colours and feathers have been recreated with exceptionally soft faux fur and highlighted with airbrush detail.
Airbrush shading also highlights his big eyes and blends his beak perfectly. With his outstretched wings, he is ready to shake his tail feather, simply pop your hand inside the beautifully lined fabric and watch him take flight.
Not only on your balcony but now in your bedrooms and at playtime this Rosella makes the perfect gift or addition to your collection!