Reconciliation at Goodstart Stratton
Corrine Bell is passionate about working alongside the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in her community to share their history and traditional cultures. As Centre Director at Goodstart Early Learning Stratton she strives to support children to be the voice of tomorrow. Here she shares how Reconciliation has become part of the everyday at Goodstart Stratton…
I love working with children and building authentic relationships with families. I wanted to work in childcare since I was in high school, and have now been in the early learning sector for 12 years, in various roles across all age groups.
Goodstart’s vision aligns with my own — that children are central to all we do. It’s really important to me that Goodstart has been making a great effort to ensure the next generation of Australians grow up with a connection to and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, people, and our true history.
Goodstart Early Learning Stratton is on Whadjuk land. We’re for walking alongside our families, children and communities on our Reconciliation journey. In 2016 we started working on our centre’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
I identify myself as a Ballardong Noongar woman and my family are from Northam. I am inspired by my cousins’ knowledge of our history and stolen generations, so when I became Centre Director in 2019 my priority was driving the journey for Reconciliation. We had a new team of educators who shared my dedication and passion, and in 2020 our RAP was published. It’s something I am extremely proud of, and has made a real difference to our centre. It’s not just a document that sits in a drawer — each room has a cultural display and the RAP on its curriculum. It’s a part of our identity, culture and environment.
Goodstart as an organisation is definitely on the right path, but we have a long way to go. Our centre has three other educators who identify as Aboriginal, but I’d love to see more First Nations people join us. We are 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. Personally, I hope to make a difference by supporting other Centre Directors on their Reconciliation journey at their centres.