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About Jessica Staines

jessica staines

The Koori Curriculum is operated by Jessica Staines a Wiradjuri Woman and early childhood teacher. Jessica has worked in early childhood for over 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 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. 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 was the Boolarng programs ambassador for Educational Experience from 2018-2020.
  • In 2019 Jessica became the Aboriginal early childhood advisor for TV’s Playschool and  collaborated on the making of the Kiya Doll. She has 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.
  • In 2021 Jessica became part of the AIATSIS Education Advisory Committee and HIPPY Reference group where she continues to support the development of resources and programs that support Aboriginal children and families in the early years.



"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."

Marnie Omeragic
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!"

Melissa Crawford/
Yurauna Early Childhood Centre

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