NAIDOC Week is a time of celebration and reflection, and at St Nicholas Early Education Raymond Terrace, the spirit of this special occasion is alive and thriving. For NAIDOC Week this year, the centre focused on a number of wonderful initiatives to honor the rich cultural heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Through a series of engaging experiences and thoughtful practices, the educators and little learners at St Nicholas Raymond Terrace are fostering kindness, cultural understanding and respect while embracing the beauty of diversity.
NAIDOC-inspired art experiences
At St Nicholas Early Education, we believe art is a powerful tool to inspire creativity and exploration. During NAIDOC Week, the children of our Raymond Terrace centre were encouraged to dive into the world of Aboriginal art and culture. Through a variety of art experiences, the young artists learned to express themselves while drawing inspiration from the vibrant and meaningful aspects of Indigenous art.
From paintbrushes to storytelling through colors, these art experiences allowed the children to embark on a journey of imagination. By delving into the rich tapestry of Aboriginal art, they gained an appreciation for the cultural significance of different symbols, patterns and motifs. This not only nurtured their creativity but also laid the foundation for embracing cultural diversity with an open heart.
‘Whoever You Are’ by Mem Fox
Storytelling is a powerful means of shaping young minds, and at St Nicholas Early Education Raymond Terrace, the children were captivated by the heartwarming book, ‘Whoever You Are’ by Mem Fox. This beautiful tale serves as a gentle reminder of the importance of kindness, empathy and embracing the diverse cultures that enrich our world.
Through the pages of this book, our little learners were taken on a journey that traverses continents and oceans, celebrating the uniqueness of every child while highlighting the universal thread that connects us all. ‘Whoever You Are’ plants the seeds of understanding and acceptance, teaching the children to appreciate and respect differences, making the world a more harmonious place.
Embracing Aboriginal flag and iconography
To deepen their connection to the land and the Indigenous peoples who have cherished it for generations, the children and educators at Raymond Terrace explored the significance of the Aboriginal flag and other iconic symbols. Together, they delved into the stories behind the flag’s design, understanding the powerful meaning it holds.
By learning about the Indigenous symbols and their cultural importance, the young minds gain a profound appreciation for the roots of this land. These explorations not only encourage a deeper connection to Australia’s history but also instill a sense of pride and respect for the traditional custodians of the land.
Daily Acknowledgement of Country
Each day at St Nicholas Early Education, children and educators gather as a community to pay their respects to the traditional custodians of the land on which they learn and play. This daily Acknowledgement of Country is a beautiful ritual that honors the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as well as their elders, past, present and emerging.
Through this practice, the children learn the importance of acknowledging and valuing the unique history and culture of the First Nations peoples. It cultivates a sense of gratitude for the land they stand on and encourages an ongoing commitment to reconciliation and understanding.