Remote communities boosted by experienced early learning educators
The remote community of Fitzroy Crossing, four hours from Broome, is benefiting from an Australian-first secondment program being run by Goodstart Early Learning.
Eleven Goodstart Early Learning educators are completing three-month stints at the largely Indigenous early childhood education, care, health and wellbeing centre in outback Western Australia.
Throughout 2016, the educators will rotate through the Baya Gawiy Buga yani Jandu yani u Centre, which was established under the National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development.
The centre provides care to around 30 families with children ranging from four months to four years of age, 70 per cent of whom are Aboriginal.
The secondments support the Fitzroy Crossing community by providing additional services to children and families, but the benefits do not flow one way.
Through the program, Goodstart educators will learn about modern Aboriginal Australia, then bring their experience and understanding back to build on Goodstart Early Learning’s cultural knowledge.
June Oscar AO, CEO of Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women’s Resource Centre, which runs the Baya Gawiy childcare centre, said the secondment program was an exciting partnership.
“The centre offers the highest quality of education while integrating into the learning ethos a profound respect for local Indigenous knowledge and contemporary cultural practices. The Indigenous peoples of the Fitzroy Valley continue to live rich and contemporary lives which are connected to their traditional lands and culture. It is this connection which continues to form the Valley's strong sense of community, family and intergenerational connectedness,” June said.
“This innovative and supportive partnership between our Baya Gawiy Buga yani Jandu yani u Centre and Goodstart Early Learning is a very exciting collaboration, and Goodstart is investing into us at a challenging stage of our learning journey.”
The first two educators to complete the secondment program have recently returned to their Goodstart centres. Find out more about them, their experiences and the many positive outcomes they have already seen from this initiative.