Goodstart has a strong commitment to reconciliation and is proud to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into its early learning and teaching programs.
2022 saw 100% of Goodstart’s 661 centres either starting or progressing their reconciliation journey with Narragunnawali – with more than a third of centres publishing their centre-based Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
In sharing their reflections, Goodstart’s cultural liaisons Melody Ingra and Peter Pilot-Wakaisu said 2022 was a year to be proud of.
Melody Ingra said close to 3,000 Goodstarters have undertaken Arrilla Cultural Competency Training over the past year bringing up to a grand total of 14,000 Goodstarters who have completed Arrilla Cultural Training since 2019.
“Every Goodstart employee takes an active role in reconciliation, getting involved in our organisation’s Stretch RAP 2020 - 2023, or being part of their centre RAP journey,” Melody said.
“This cultural awareness training is only the beginning, with a range of opportunities across the organisation and in centre, to support an ongoing journey of learning, unlearning and relearning.”
Peter Pilot-Wakaisu said Goodstarters continued to embrace learning opportunities to deepen their knowledge of Torres Strait Islander history and culture.
“From participating in our Community of Practice initiative to participating in our National Reconciliation Week celebration to learn more about Torres Strait Islander perspectives.
“I was proud to lead a panel discussion together with our former CEO during National Reconcliation Week with Charles Passi and Uncle Bill Lowah about the significance of the Mabo High Court decision and its impact on First Nations people 30 years on, we reflected on the Torres Strait Islander flag that celebrated its 30-year anniversary in 2022, and asked Charles and Uncle Bill about their vision for the future of reconciliation in Australia.
Every centre embraces and celebrates culturally significant events including NAIDOC Week, National Reconciliation Week and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day celebrations.
Melody said Goodstarters actively weave reconciliation throughout everything they do, and as a result Goodstart is building a stronger culturally safe workplace and centres for First Nations children and families.
“Close to 7 percent of children identify as First Nations – exceeding the sector average – which is an incredible opportunity and responsibility that we take seriously.”
2022 Reconciliation milestones
Goodstart is one of 42 Australian organisations involved in the Indigenous Employment Index (and first early learning provider)
12 First Nations Leaders, Voices and state based yarning circles taking place at least monthly involving First Nations Goodstarters
All Goodstart centres on their reconciliation journey with Narrangunnawali
35% of centres (233) had published their RAPs by June 2022
6.9% of Goodstart children identify as First Nations (6,860+). 2.6% points above sector average
11 Educator secondments in our cultural immersion program
32 First Nations interns and trainees engaged
79 centres participated in our Community of Practice to enrich their cultural learning
National Reconciliation Week
During National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June), every Goodstarter was invited to Be a Reconciliation Ally to bring this year’s theme of ‘Be Brave. Make Change’ to life across our national network. Being an ally at Goodstart could be achieved in three simple ways:
Educate yourself – learn, unlearn and relearn
Support positive social change campaigns led by First Nations people
Connect with your community
Goodstart centres and centre support offices celebrated National Reconciliation Week in a variety of ways – keep reading here .
Children’s Ground - Wear it Yellow Day
During our celebrations of National Reconciliation Week, Goodstarters all across the country rallied their support behind the First Nations organisation Children’s Ground by hosting a Wear it Yellow day. More than 83 centres got behind this great cause and raised a grand total of $6075. Learn more about Children’s Ground here .
National Indigenous Employment Index
Goodstart Early Learning is one of just 42 Australian organisations, and the only early learning provider, included in the first comprehensive snapshot of Indigenous employment representation, processes and experiences released earlier this month.
The goal of the Indigenous Employment Index is to provide an evidence base for “what works” in creating Indigenous employment parity in a sustainable and meaningful way.
Learn more by reading our media release here.
Our centres celebrated NAIDOC week in many ways including; cultural learning experiences, creation of bush tucker gardens, language activities, reading First Nations books and creating art.
From our Centre Support Office in Brisbane we broadcast a trivia event with over 100 teams and players competing. The event had a mix of questions about First Nations people, music, politics and about some of our very own First Nations Goodstarters.
To learn more about Goodstart’s reconcliation journey, download a copy of our Stretch RAP here.