Dapto preschoolers celebrate NAIDOC Week
With NAIDOC Week 2017
fast approaching, many communities are planning events to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Children from Goodstart Dapto
are busy preparing for their performance at the local Koonawarra Community Centre on 6 July, where they have been invited to sing a song.
The NAIDOC Week celebrations will also include a welcome by a local elder, a smoking ceremony, native language songs, a Didgeridoo performance and a performance by the Illawarra Flame Tree Dancers, a barbeque, art workshop, and a range of other activities and games for children.
Goodstart assistant director Nicky Jefferson said the centre was very proud and fortunate that two of their educators identify as being Aboriginal.
“Tegan, an educator in our preschool room, is from the Bidhawal Nation, and Rebecca, an educator from our preschool rooms, is from the Yuin Nation. Both nations are south of us, further down the coast and we are on Dharawal land,” Ms Jefferson said.
“Children will be singing the kookaburra song on the day and we have already started practicing. They are all so excited about giving a performance in front of a big audience, it will be a very special experience for them to be part of such a unique celebration.
“Every year Goodstart looks forward to celebrating NAIDOC Week, it’s an important part of our cultural program at the centre,” she said.
Leading up the event, children will also be making some kookaburra masks using traditional ochre paint, which is a crumbly to hard rock that was one of the most important painting materials used traditionally by Aboriginal people. Paints are made by grinding the source rock to a powder and then mixing it with water.
The NAIDOC Week 2017 theme aims to celebrate the essential role that Indigenous languages play in both cultural identity, linking people to their land and water, and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.
The Kookaburra Song
By Aunty Joan Cooper from the Dharag nation, and Aunty Dawn Collins from the Gundungurra nation.
"Kunji unji unji
Kunji unji uniji unji uniji unji
Kunji unji uniji unji uniji unji"
Which translates to:
Kookaburra siting in the tree, looking down at us.
Kookaburra thinks we are funny and is laughing his head off.