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Mater Childcare celebrate National Reconciliation Week

Friday, 2 June 2017

Mater Childcare celebrate National Reconciliation Week

Mater Childcare have hosted a special event for National Reconciliation Week to become a more culturally competent centre and incorporating indigenous practices into programs and curriculums.

The 2017 theme is ‘Let’s take the next steps’ and is an opportunity to reflect and commemorate two significant anniversaries of reconciliation in Australia while taking the next steps together in our national reconciliation story.

Our Childcare gathering began with local Indigenous elder Uncle Sam performing a Welcome to Country and telling stories which intrigued his young audience. A Welcome to Country is delivered by Traditional Owners, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have been given permission from Traditional Owners from the Country in which our centre is built, to welcome visitors to their Country.

The Chapman family, who are part of the centre, performed traditional dances and got the children up and pretending they were riding a bucking horse!

Kevin Maund played his guitar and sang some beautiful songs which told of the connection to land, and ended with a highly entertaining song with action which had the children completely engaged.

Mater Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander liaison officer Gwen Ibarra believes recognition is about acceptance and bringing together community.

“The celebration today was an opportunity to tell our people’s stories and develop understanding of our culture,” she said.

The Mater Childcare ‘Yarning Circle’ consists of Gemma, Bec, Megan and Issi and Mater Childcare Kindergarten teacher Gemma Wharton said this was the first event since forming a committee to look at giving children greater awareness of cultural diversity.

“We are so proud of the efforts of the yarning circle with putting together this event. We have been so privileged to have Uncle Sam, Kevin and The Chapman family join with us to provide this culturally enriching event for the children, educators and parents. This is the first step of many that we are planning to take as we help the children on their journey in becoming culturally competent,” Gemma said.

Each year National Reconciliation Week (NRW) celebrates and builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. It is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how each of us can join the national reconciliation journey.

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Tags: children, Mission