The Koori Curriculum


14TH - 17TH JULY 2023

One on One
Education &

Immerse yourself in a one of a kind retreat

Come and spend a long weekend with the Koori Curriculum and their community of Aboriginal speakers, educators and artists on the NSW Central Coast.

You are being invited to spend three days at Pearl beach connecting and collaborating with a handful of other educators and Director of the Koori Curriculum Jessica Staines.

Our educator retreat will involve a balance of unwinding and connecting with Country and deep pedagogical discussions that explore the ways that educators can include Aboriginal perspectives in their program and practice.

The location

The Retreat will be held at beautiful Pearl Beach and not far from where I live on the Central Coast.

I’ve found the most incredible accommodation, a luxurious, freshly renovated large two-level modern house in three separate pavilions on an enormous private block. It’s surrounded by native bush and wildlife and just a few short steps to Pearl Beach.

We’ll grab coffees from a fantastic coffee shop nearby, have a modern bush tucker dinner (while learning about traditional foods), get a massage from a fabulous masseuse – and if you’re lucky you might get to have a visit from my daughter Shirley Pearl.

I want this retreat to feel like a vacation with friends, whilst immersing yourself in cultural experiences

The experience

The Koori Curriculum will offer a range of experiences including a bush tucker cooking demonstration with Yama 2 You, educator yarns with pedagogue Aunty Nerida Blair, Sky Stories with Garry Purchase and a cuppa with Aboriginal education consultant Belinda Huntriss.
Educators will also have the opportunity to participate in a smoking ceremony, enjoy leisurely walks on secluded Pearl beach and huddle around a cosy fire of a night.
Educators who choose to retreat with the Koori Curriculum will receive a one on one mentoring session with Jessica. This customised session will be tailored to the individual needs of each educator to scaffold their pedagogy and practice.
The Koori Curriculum educator retreat also includes an indulgent massage, beautifully catered meals and a stay in a luxurious venue.
What more could anyone want?

The workshops

Beach walk and smoking ceremony with Tim Selwyn, Director of Girri Girra.
Cultural Safety Session with Belinda Huntris
Cooking Demonstration & Dinner with Greg from Yama 2 You
Educator yarns with pedagogue Aunty Nerida Blair
Sky Stories with Garry Purchase

One on One Mentoring with Jessica Staines

Each educator that joins the Koori Curriculum at the retreat will participate in a one on one mentoring session with your host, Jessica Staines.

Jessica Staines is a Wiradjuri Woman, an early childhood teacher and the Director of the Koori Curriculum. 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 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.

Jessica is passionate about Reconciliation, social justice and Anti Bias. Jessica has written for several early childhood journals and texts including “The Anti Bias Approach in Early Childhood”, “The Aboriginal Early Childhood Practice Guide” and "Educator Yarns".

Testimonials for Mentoring with Jessica Staines

"The opportunities provided by Jess have also enabled me to participate in an online yarning circle to discover and share ideas of inclusive and progressive practice alongside other early childhood educators from around Australia. This really has been a new way of learning and sharing for me but has been the key to opening many doors!""

Heather Brady
Yarrawong Preschool and Early Education Centre

"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."

Marnie Omeragic, Director Concord West Rhodes Preschool

"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"

Melissa Crawford, Yurauna Early Childhood Centre

"Working with Jess has been invaluable for our team. She has stewarded us from fear of getting things ‘wrong’ to being empowered. It’s been particularly wonderful to have Jess helping us where we are; we never felt ashamed . She made practical suggestions that have been easy to implement, such as purchasing prints or fabrics to increase visibility."

Sandra De Bois, Deborah Little Early Learning Centre

The venue

Pavilion 1: Includes a luxurious entertaining, dining and lounging space with extra tall ceilings, electronic louvre windows, wide sliding doors leading out to a large deck with day beds and outdoor dining for all of us to enjoy. As well as a chef’s kitchen (in which you don’t have to cook). Pavilion 2: Is a sleeping space with the king master and ensuite, one queen room, the bunk room (six bunks but only two sharing) and a bathroom. It’s connected to the Pavillion one by an external breezeway.

Pavilion 3: Has bedrooms opening out onto the lush back garden, a king bed with desk, a queen bed room with a day bed. This block also has a bathroom and is connected via an external staircase off the balcony.

Features include:

  • Relaxed modern décor
  • Fireplace
  • BBQ
  • Large entertaining deck
  • Outdoor shower
  • Huge back yard
  • Smart TV with Netflix
  • Built in Bluetooth music system
  • Laundry
  • Nespresso pods
  • IKOU bathroom and spa products
  • Three bathrooms
  • Fluffy towels and beautiful bedding

Your investment

To purchase the Koori Curriculum Retreat in full select one of the above options and process your payment.
To access the payment plan option or if you are a Koori Curriculum Club member, please email so that the team can process payments for you.
Please note: the Koori Curriculum Club Member discount is not available on the "supporter" membership type

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to participate in all the activites?

A: while we strongly recommend that you participate in all the activites, mandatory involvement is not expected.

Q: Will dietry requirements be catered for?

A: Yes absolutley

Q: What happens in the event of cancellation?

A: Please read our cancellation policy carefully:

a.      A total of eight people have to book this retreat for it to go ahead; if we fail to hit those numbers your money will be fully refunded.

b.      If for any reason you can’t come but are able to find someone to take your spot, all moneys will be refunded.

Q: What should I bring with me?

A: Comfortable clothes, a laptop and an open mind

Q: Is airfare included in the cost of the retreat?

A: If you are interstate and would like to join the retreat we would love to have you join us, however travel to Sydney would be at your own cost, we will have optional pick up from Sydney airport and drop off after the retreat.

Q: Can I attend if I am located interstate?

A: Yes, you can attend if you are interstate, please note that transport to Sydney will be at your own cost.

Q: Do you offer discounts for Koori Curriculum Club members?

A: Yes, Koori Curriculum Club members are able to take advantage of a 20% discount on the cost of the retreat

Q: Do I need travel insurance?

A: Yes, We take no responsibility for personal accidents during the trip.

Q: What happens if I want to do some sight seeing while at the retreat?

A: You are welcome to do some sight seeing while at the retreat. Any additional transport, meals and beverages during free time/outside of the retreat are not included in the price.

Q: Are male & female Educators welcome on the retreat?

A: Yes, our retreat is open to all Educators male and female, however, the shared bunk rooms are only available for women due to the sharing room element