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.
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.