About Jessica Staines
The Koori Curriculum is operated by Jessica Staines a Wiradjuri Woman and early childhood teacher. Jessica has worked in early childhood for fifteen years for a range of service providers in both urban and regional communities. Whilst working in early childhood Jessica naturally found herself supporting educators to become more culturally aware and confident in embedding Aboriginal perspectives in their program.
In 2017 Jessica featured on Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnawali platform where she advised educators in several videos on how they could begin their journey. Jessica is passionate about Reconciliation, social justice and Anti Bias and encourages all early learning services to sign up for a RAP.
In 2018 Jessica was supported by Early Childhood Australia and Educational Experience to take part in the World Forum Foundations Global Leaders Program and she later became the National Representative for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Additionally, Jessica was the Boolarng programs ambassador for Educational Experience from 2018-2020. This experience allowed Jessica to network with First Nations People around the globe, learn about their programs and how we can potentially benefit from them in the Australian context.
Jessica has also written for several early childhood journals and texts including “The Anti Bias Approach in Early Childhood” Edited by Dr Red Ruby Scarlet and “The Aboriginal Early Childhood Practice Guide” Edited by Jessica Staines and Dr Red Ruby Scarlet. In addition to running and operating the Koori Curriculum Jessica is also the Co-Director of The Aboriginal Early Childhood Collective which hosts a range of virtual webinars and summits for educators.
Jessica became the Aboriginal early childhood advisor for TV’s Playschool in 2019 and collaborated on the making of the Kiya Doll. She advised on many episodes to ensure the inclusion of Aboriginal perspectives and is especially proud of the shows Acknowledgement of Country episode. Jessica is passionate about having Aboriginal culture reflected, included and celebrated on TV to foster a sense of pride in young Aboriginal children today.
Each year Jessica supports vulnerable and disadvantaged Aboriginal families through running the Koori Curriculum Christmas Drive. The drive has been running for four years and in that time Jessica in partnership with Petersham TAFE has supported hundreds of families within in the Inner West.
"Jessica’s strong pedagogical based knowledge, engaging and practical means of delivery, friendliness, honest and brave ability to share and exceptional ability to listen without judgment, provoke with respect and enable collaboration through empowerment was refreshing and the ingredients necessary for change. This set us on a projectory of engagement with Jessica’s teaching, mentoring, community projects and resources, to date, over 4 years. During this time I have been inspired by Jessica’s commitment, vision and professional generosity, collaborating with educators to enhance the pedagogical practices within their own services and wider early childhood community. Not only does she help grow teams and individuals, I can attest that she has developed her own knowledge and skill set exceptionally and continues to do so."
Director Concord West Rhodes Preschool.
"On Tuesday we received Yurauna’s first every Assessment and Rating result. Yurauna is Exceeding all 7 quality areas with an overall rating of Exceeding. I have attached the report for you. The reason I am sending you the report is because I wanted to acknowledge your role in this outcome.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom with us during our one on one training session as well as during the Aboriginal Early childhood conference and Aboriginal Early childhood planning day. Our discussions together made me rethink my approach to the planning and documentation of children’s learning, particularly for Indigenous children. As you probably know the ACT has the worst outcomes for Indigenous children in Australia. I am just so pleased that an Indigenous specific service in Canberra has received an Exceeding rating. I am overwhelmed with what this could mean for Indigenous children in Canberra.
Receiving this rating is a community effort and I just really wanted to acknowledge your contribution. I am so grateful. What a wonderful way to celebrate NAIDOC week!"
Yurauna Early Childhood Centre