We’re for… reconciliation
We’re for walking alongside our families, children and communities on our reconciliation journey.
From Gubbi Gubbi lands on the east coast of Australia, across to Wajuk in Western Australia, up to Larrakia in the Northern Territory and everywhere in between, at Goodstart Early Learning we’re on a reconciliation journey. We’re walking together with our families, children, and communities.
We take very seriously our responsibility to ensure the next generation of Australians grows
up with connection to and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, people, and our true history. Through our unique opportunity to engage with 70,700 children in our centres, we believe we can meet that responsibility and make a difference in the lives of all children.
We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia and as the custodians of the land on which we live. This respect is woven and embedded into everything we do. We’re focused on building connections, celebrating Indigenous culture and providing an early learning environment where all children feel welcome.
Our purpose is for every child to have the best possible start in life. We have a unique opportunity to influence and educate current and future generations of Australians and embed a respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and histories, combating racism by providing a different dialogue through a shared understanding of Australia’s past and present.
Reconciliation Action Plan
In 2014, we were one of the first early learning providers to develop an Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), and in 2020 we reinvigorated the plan with the launch of our Stretch RAP.
These plans articulate and build on our vision for reconciliation - that it is genuinely at the heart of our organisation, and is deeply embedded in everything we do, and every decision we make. It will be a key consideration in our governance, curriculum, teaching and will drive participation in early learning.
But reconciliation is more than having a broad, organisation-wide plan… it’s about working at the local level to build meaningful connections with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, families, and children, and educating children and educators about why reconciliation action matters.
That’s why over 630 centres have commenced or published their own plans using Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education platform
. Through these unique plans, our centres are building strong, enduring relationships with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and local communities. Many of our centres have made great progress in their reconciliation journey, recognising that it’s a two-way partnership where we build a sense of shared learning and understanding across all cultures.
Supporting our people to drive reconciliation
We know our ability to meaningfully embrace and embed reconciliation in everyday practice in our centres depends on our people. That’s why we’re also investing in professional development, building capability and creating environments for educators to be able to learn further and grow their knowledge and understanding. We’re empowering our people to develop their plans in partnership with their families and communities and put them in to practice in a way that best suits their unique contexts.
Supporting communities and businesses to thrive
We understand that as Australia’s largest provider of quality early learning and care, we have a significant opportunity to support reconciliation for generations to come. We’ll do this not only through supporting children, families, and communities, but also through helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait-owned businesses to thrive. For example, we’ve committed to engaging with 100 per cent-owned Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers where possible, and all suppliers are encouraged to support our commitment to the RAP. We are also working with stakeholders to leverage opportunities for Indigenous suppliers and job seekers within existing and future relationships.
Through working in practical, meaningful ways to embed the values of reconciliation in everything we do, we’re helping thousands of children to have their best possible start in life.
Reconciliation at Goodstart by the numbers:
2014: Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan launched; partnership with Career Trackers established
2016: Fitzroy Crossing Cultural Immersion and Secondment program commenced in partnership with Baya Gawiy Early Learning Unit, with 20 educators participating in this program to date.
2018: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community of Practice (CoP) established
54: Centres participating in the CoP; 40 educators, 70 additional families and more than 100 children of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island descent commencing in these centres since 2016
2020: Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan launched
632: Centres that have commenced or published their own Narragunnawali RAP
6000+: Goodstarters who have completed Arrilla cultural competency training
14: University students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent undertaking internships in centres or centre-support roles in 2020