Local Early Learning Centre Celebrates NAIDOC week
Always Was, Always Will Be is the designated theme for NAIDOC Week 2020. Each year, NAIDOC Week is celebrated across Australia to acknowledge the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Goodstart Canning Vale – Batman Road began NAIDOC Week celebration with great pomp and splendour last Friday morning.
As part of the centre’s Reconciliation Action Plan, a very special assembly for NAIDOC Week was organized by Centre Director Kenneth Leong and team to showcase the centre’s reconciliation journey and celebrate the unique history and culture of Indigenous people. Invitations were sent out to Matt Keogh MP, Federal Member for Burt, Whadjuk Elder Kevin Fitzgerald and Goodstart families to be part of the celebration.
The assembly was kickstarted with Acknowledgement of Country by Educational Leader Sandra D’Rozario, then followed on with singing of a Noongar song named ‘Wanjoo (Welcome)’ song. Mia, Evan and Royce from Kindergarten bravely stood on stage and led the singing. Children as young as 5 months old up to 5 year old were seen participating enthusiastically with clap sticks, tambourines and shakers. The children continued to sing ‘Hello to all the children of the world’ to acknowledge the diverse cultures of the centre.
Matt Keogh MP, Federal Member for Burt. was invited on stage to talk about reconciliation and he explained “reconciliation means saying sorry”
to the children. Mr Keogh went on to say “when we have done something wrong to our friends, it is important that we say sorry so that we can all be friends again. That’s what reconciliation is all about.”
Mr Keogh then invited children to come on stage to receive the Australian flag, Aboriginal flag and Torres Strait Islander flag. Mr Keogh also presented Centre Director Kenneth Leong with the certificate of ‘National Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples’ as a token of appreciation for the centre’s efforts in educating children about reconciliation.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have occupied and cared for this land for over 65 000 years, and their cultures have been recognised as the oldest living cultures in the world. This presents a wonderful opportunity for us to educate our children about the history and connections to the land of Indigenous Australians.” -
Kenneth Leong, Centre Director at Goodstart Canning Vale – Batman Road
The assembly concluded with the unveiling of their recently gifted Totem ‘Banksia’s’. Working with local Elder Kevin Fitzgerald Goodstart Canning Vale has been assigned the ‘Banksia’ as their totem.
“In Indigenous culture, a totem is a plant or animal that is given to a child at birth. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that their totem is looked after and protected. Elder Kevin assigned the Banksia plant as our totem because it is largely found in Canning Vale area. By planting and caring for our Banksia totem, we aim to educate children about the rich cultural history of Indigenous people.” – Kenneth Leong, Centre Director at Goodstart Canning Vale – Batman Road.
Goodstart’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) embodies the steps we are taking towards being an organisation where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees experience respect and equality in employment and where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and children experience respectful relationships and participate in experiences in our centres that are inclusive of their culture and history.
Goodstart Canning Vale – Batman Road would like to thank Benara Nurseries and Kings Park Botanic Gardens for their involvement in this reconciliation project by providing Banksia plants and pods.