The team at Kindy Patch Floraville have taken a significant step with the support of local community members towards reconciliation, with the recent publishing of their Reconciliation Action Plan.
Centre Manager, Dominique Letoga, said she is so proud they have reached this milestone, but there is plenty more they could be doing as they further their reconciliation journeys.
“Reconciliation practices are so embedded in our day-to-day, and are a core focus for us as a centre,” she said.
“My goal is to create an environment where all members of the community feel welcome, supported and respected.”
A Reconciliation Action Plan enables organisations to take meaningful action to advance reconciliation by shaping tangible practices around the core pillars of relationships, respect and opportunities to support and promote equity for First Nations people.
Lead Educator at Kindy Patch Floraville, Claire Jeffery led the development of the centre’s Reconciliation Action Plan, and said it was an eye-opening process to see the scope of work they can achieve as a small, 38 place centre.
“The development of the Reconciliation Action Plan is equally about documenting what you are doing, as it is reflecting on what else you could do,” she said.
“We are a small centre, which allows us to have really strong relationships with our children and families, and I think this process has shown me how much we can do within our small, tight-knit community.
“All our children engage in reconciliation practices right from our nursery room to preschoolers, including participating in daily acknowledgement of country, studying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Isalnder signs and symbols, and exploring Dreamtime stories and their significance in cultural practice.”
The centre also has an established relationship with local group Speaking in Colour who will be visiting the centre soon to conduct aDance workshop with the children.
“The children will learn and perform the dance, and also discuss the cultural background and meaning of the dance,” said Ms Jeffrey.
“Educators will also be briefed on how they can embed dances or cultural practices into their classrooms in a respectful and meaningful way.
“We want our reconciliation work to be continuing and meaningful, and gaining insight from our local community is key to achieving that.”
Kindy Patch is part of the G8 Education network, one of Australia’s largest providers of early childhood education and care, focused on its purpose of creating the foundations for learning for life.
G8’s Head of Early Learning and Education, Ali Evans, said educators are supported and encouraged to build authentic meaningful relationships withcommunity, and be guided by community in strengthening reconciliation practices.
“Reconciliation is about all of us,” said Ms Evans.
“It is about acknowledging the past and working together to create a more equitable Australia for all children.,.”
“We want to support all of our team members, children and families to grow in their reconciliation understandings and journeys together,” said Ms Letoga. To learn more about Kindy Patch Floraville or book a personalised tour, visit the website here.