Aurora Early Childcare recognizes and celebrates the fact that Australia has a rich and complex history with a variety of different cultures and peoples coming to live and learn peacefully together. We encourage our children to connect with the many histories and cultures in Australia through a variety of ways. A particular focus is the histories, stories and cultures of the first Nations Peoples.
As Australians from various walks of life, we want to acknowledge and commemorate these important communities as the First Nations people who have cared for this land for thousands of years. We must recognize and be thankful for them because doing so is true to our values and plays a significant role in the upbringing of our children.
What is NAIDOC Week?
NAIDOC Week is named after the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. This committee was earlier in charge of arranging national activities and events during this week every year to raise more awareness and stress the importance of valuing Aboriginal heritage.
Every year, the first week of July is dedicated to NAIDOC Week and this year’s theme is “Heal Country” which represents the powerful measures we should take to respect and protect the culture and heritage of the First Nations people who have been caring for the country and therefore are spiritually connected to this land.
How can we carry NAIDOC Week values throughout the year?
Aurora celebrates NAIDOC Week because we treasure and respect everything Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have done and achieved for this land and for themselves. We want to pass on the knowledge and appreciation to our children and teach them how they can always value them and their culture.
It is important to establish this kind of knowledge to children when they are young so they inherently acknowledge and respect the culture as they grow older. Therefore, in order to help our children grasp the essence of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, we want to take the values of NAIDOC Week seriously and embed them in our practice all year round.
There is guidance for educators both on a government and a state level to embed learning about and a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through the year. Some of the ways to do this include:
using available resources, tools, and artefacts effectively in multiple learning spaces and providing a variety of approaches like traditional, contemporary, and regional perspectives to the cultural values of the indigenous community.
embedding a holistic style of programming that puts the Aboriginal perspective in context to suit children’s interests whilst ensuring the teaching is play-based and not theme-based.
In Aurora, we have a dedicated Reconciliation Action Plan which calls upon us to continuously review, reflect on and adapt our practices and routines to ensure we are promoting learning about and respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. We also have an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person of the month, where we focused on a recognized personality and their achievements.
Aurora strongly follows these principles and incorporates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural values into our room practices so we can ensure that we are continuing to embed and celebrate the culture through they year.