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Serving as a timely reminder that during crisis we are seeing communities band together, this year’s National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) theme—In this together—is being celebrated by Mater Early Learning with a week full of carefully curated cultural activities.
Focused on embedding cultural respect and inclusivity, the early learning service is supported by Reconciliation Australia, having had their Reconciliation Action Plan approved and published by them for the second year in a row.
Mater Early Learning have also been in partnership for 3 years with Narragunnawali—an Australian organisation committed to supporting schools and early learning services foster knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions.
Mater Early Learning’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Project Leader, Rebecca Brown said this partnership has allowed the team to take a tailored approach to ensuring cultural inclusivity and understanding continues all throughout the year.
“Whilst significant events like National Reconciliation Week are important, embedding cultural perspective into programs is a focus for our teams all year round,” she said.
Mater Early Learning has partnered the readily-available resources and teaching frameworks from Narragunnawali, with their own community outreach and independent learnings to create culturally-inclusive practises—implemented both within their own service as well as other early learning services across Queensland.
“This year’s National Reconciliation Week, we are focusing our activities on meaningful, respective and educational cultural learnings,” Rebecca said.
“Some of our lessons have included learning about significance of the week and what it represents for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, along with exploring artworks, music and language.”
Rebecca said the team are proud to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into everyday programs and curriculum.
“It is really important for our young children to have an understanding of Australia’s history and we are continually striving to help the children build connections with that history in a culturally-safe environment.”
Rebecca said having open lines of communication and partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and community members is essential to the team continuing to build on their knowledge of traditions and histories.
“Through this first-hand learning from community members, our team strives for valuable lessons on traditions and culture, and endeavour to help our children have an appreciation for Country and its First Peoples.”
Mater acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Land in which Mater Hospitals South East Queensland are located –The Jagera People – along with all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and pay respect to Elders – past, present and emerging.
To read Mater Early Learning’s Reconciliation Action Plan, see here: https://www.narragunnawali.org.au/raps/33639/mater-early-learning
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