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It is important to Koori Curriculum that our products, services, advice and content is reflective of the diversity of First Nations peoples in our Country and we acknowledge the importance of having multiple voices heard in this space.

This is why we have created the Koori Curriculum Advisory Group and we include a First Nations Representative from each state and territory across Australia.

The group meets bimonthly and attendees are remunerated for their time and input.

About Koori Curriculum

The Koori Curriculum is an Aboriginal early childhood consultancy based on the Central Coast, NSW. Consultants at the Koori Curriculum facilitate a range of professional development workshops for educators that help guide the inclusion of Aboriginal perspectives in early childhood curriculum.

The Koori Curriculum is operated by Jessica Staines a Wiradjuri woman, early childhood teacher, TAFE NSW teacher and passionate educational community member, with ties to many advocacy groups on both national and international platforms.

Jessica and the team at Koori Curriculum continue to innovate and create new and diverse way to reach educators across Australia and the world, adding to the ever expanding suite of products and services including podcasts, educational resources, exclusive publications, yarning circles, in-services and planning days.

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 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.
  • Jessica has 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 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.

The Koori Curriculum Advisory Group

Nykitta Gibbs
(SA)

Nykita Gibbs is a proud Kamilaroi woman. I have worked in early learning for the past 14 years and currently work in a director role.

She is a mother of two, a 5-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl. She believe is it important to share her cultural knowledge and understanding with her community and colleges.

She believe it is important for to teach our little ones how to connect to the land and learn from our Elders, to recognise, protect, and maintain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

Reconciliation takes all of us working together and embedding practices, pathing the way for our future generations. We need to educate others to protect our lands, our waters, our sacred sites as country connects of all of us.

Lenka Vanderboom (VIC)

Lenka is a proud Yawuru woman and an Educator and Learning Facilitator at the Royal Botanic Gardens for Early Years (& all ages).

She is a Board member of Magabala Books, an improvisational actor and an Indigenous learning Facilitator.

Recent work includes the Global Women in Fire online facilitator for Indigneous Savanna Fire Management Initiative which grew her appreciation for global movements around early years education and First Nations knowledge system sharing.

Michelle King
(NSW & ACT)

Michelle King is a proud descendant of the Worimi Nation and was raised on Karuah Aboriginal Community on her traditional Country.

Michelle has worked in early childhood for 25 years in the roles of Director, Teacher and Educational Leader and taught in adult education for 15 years at a University and TAFE level and delivered on the Deadly Teacher Strong Jarjums project funded by NSW Government.

In her professional and personal life Michelle has strived to build awareness, understanding and capacity for her mob through every opportunity that comes her way.


David Pullen
(QLD)

David is a school music teacher, university tutor (Indigenous) and owner of a music tutoring business that visits childcare centres, libraries and schools to teach music and Aboriginal cultures. He is the author of The Music Family, a children’s picture book that teaches instruments of the band to early years readers.

As a musician he plays in community arts bands he performs on trombone, ukulele and saxophone along with being able to perform on Yidaki (didgeridoo) and sing in language. David holds a Graduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching, Graduate Certificate in Project Management, Diploma of Arts (Music) and Bachelor of Arts.

David’s mob is Dharug and Gomeroi from Gunnedah and Coonabarabran in NSW and he currently lives off country in Meanjin (Brisbane). His mob comes from the Warmuli, Prospect or Gannamegal clan of the Dharug people of Western Sydney with his ancestor recorded as a notable woman of the Paramatta Native Institute, Australia’s first mission in Blacktown. As are the songlines of our people interwoven with interactions with convicts and settlers David acknowledges his English, German and Irish heritage.

Katrina Cambridge
(NSW & ACT)

Katrina Cambridge is a proud Yuwaalaraay woman currently working for the Catholic Education Office of the Canberra Goulburn Archdiocese. For the past two years she has held the position of Aboriginal School and Community Officer.

Katrina is a qualified teacher, having gained a Bachelor of Teaching Primary Degree from the Queensland University of Technology and a Bachelor of Education Early Childhood Degree from the Central Queensland University. Katrina has taught in schools both in Queensland and the ACT.

Katrina has a passion for Aboriginal Education where her current role allows her not only support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and families in the Canberra Goulburn Archdiocese but assist teachers with embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives across all teaching areas.

Corinne Bell
(WA)

Corrine is a Ballardong Noongar woman and my family are from Northam WA. I am on my own cultural journey as I have started to find out more of my Mob and family history, which inspired me to dig deeper. I currently live and work on Wadjuk Noongar land in Perth WA. I have 2 beautiful children and a third on the way, all three of which I love sharing about our culture with. I love sharing our culture with my children because I think there is an importance in being proud of where we come from.


I love working with children and building authentic relationships with families, as authentic relationships are something I hold of high importance. I wanted to work in childcare since I was in high school, which I achieved, and have now been in the early learning sector for 12 years, in various roles across all age groups.

I am passionate about working alongside the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in my community to share history and traditional cultures. I also love sharing culture across my centre with both educators and children, to create an environment that’s inclusive and appreciative of where each person comes from. I am currently a Centre Director at Goodstart Early Learning Stratton and I strive to support children to be the voice of tomorrow.


Cassie Haberle
(TAS)

Cassie is a proud trawlwoolway woman, Mother and Early Childhood Educator born and raised by the sea in Northern Tasmania.

I am a Saltwater Sister who is now raising my beautiful family in the country where I grew up, teaching them to be strong and proud of their culture and heritage, just as I was by my own Mother growing up here to the sounds of the waves in paradise.

I am a member of Reconciliation Tasmania and the Reconciliation champion for my service, responsible for ensuring we are embedding Indigenous perspectives into our programs and meeting our Reconciliation Action Plan goals. I find being able to share my culture with our children, Educators and families extremely rewarding and I am very fortunate to work with a team of Educators who all ensure First Nations culture is embedded everyday in all parts of our Educational Programs.

It has been quite a journey, seeing how far Tasmania has come over the past few decades, from being told in the 1980's at school that Tasmanian Aboriginals died out and no longer exist and would have to learn about our culture behind closed doors, to now being accepted and acknowledged, with schools and organisations wanting to share and learn more about our culture.

I am passionate about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non Indigenous peoples within Tasmania as well as Australia wide. I believe we have the perfect opportunity to do this as Early Childhood Educators, beginning by educating the future generations throughout their learning journey and into adulthood.

I am excited to share my passion and knowledge for the benefit of everyone who wants to learn more and look forward to meeting our shared goals of Education and Reconciliation into the future.

The Koori Curriculum Advisory Submission

The Koori Curriculum is collecting expressions of interest from First Nations educators who would like to be a part of our advisory group.

The group will meet bimonthly and attendees will be remunerated for their time and input.

You can provide your expression of interest by completing this form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T6QPFZB

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Koori Curriculum Advisory Group open to non-Indigenous educators?

No. The Koori Curriculum Advisory Group is open to Indigenous Educators only.

I am not an early learning educator, can I apply?

The Koori Curriculum is focused on early learning educators and their requirements and while we understand that all educators are looking for support and guidance, we are only looking for advisors with an early learning background and focus at this time.

Will training be provided on the advisory group?

No. The Advisory Group is being put in place to ensure the Koori Curriculum products, services, advice, and content is reflective of the diversity of First Nations peoples in our Country. Appointed advisors of course will be remunerated for their time.

For learning or continuing your own journey on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples you can join our membership or Facebook group.

How often will the advisory group meet?

The plan is to meet bi-monthly.

Will I be paid for my time?

Yes, we will be providing remuneration for your time and input to the advisory group

What happens after I apply?

You will be sent a confirmation email within 24 business hours, and we will follow up with successful candidates by September 24th for the next stage of the process

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