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Program offers unique cultural opportunity

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As an organisation founded by four of Australia’s leading community sector organisations, it’s no surprise that Goodstart has a strong commitment to social inclusion.

Our founding members believe that every child having access to quality early learning has the potential to transform Australia, and it’s this belief that has seen us establish a suite of inclusion initiatives and an Australian-first secondment program to remote Western Australia.

The program started in 2016 and sees two educators per term leave for a 12 week secondment in Fitzroy Crossing, which at 397km from Broome is one of Australia’s most isolated communities.

Our educators are placed at the Baya Gawiy Buga yani Jandu yani u Centre, which provides care and early education for around 30 families in the community.

Their presence helps the centre to provide additional services to local children while building an understanding of the aspirations and needs of Indigenous communities.

Deep cultural learning for educators
The program enables Goodstart educators to make a deep and genuine connection with Indigenous culture, broaden their experience and develop their profession in a unique environment.

The chance to live and work in such an isolated community, complete with one of the harshest climates in Australia, presents an opportunity and challenge that has seen hundreds of Goodstart’s educators nominate to participate.

Many educators nominate for the program to bring learnings back to their centre and families, enabling them to better meet the needs of children in their communities.

Educators are also supported to share their learnings with the broader Goodstart network, building the organisation’s capability and making a contribution to Goodstart’s social inclusion goals.

What do educators say about the program?
“For me this is a once in a life time opportunity to be involved in learning about Aboriginal culture and I’m looking forward to sharing this with my co-workers to improve our inclusion practices in our centre and community,” Takarlya Fraser, Goodstart Numurkah.

“I look forward to being immersed in the culture, learning, and listening to their stories. I think this will help change my thinking, and the thinking of others. Every culture has different needs and the sooner we understand that, the better,” Judith Filimona, Goodstart Plumpton.

“Going to Fitzroy Crossing really opened my eyes as to how I could make a difference in the community. I feel like I’ve been able to explore my culture from a completely different point of view. I experienced the traditional ways of living out in the bush and saw how the families worked,” Lisa Blattman, Goodstart Salisbury North.

“Early childhood educators have an incredible responsibility to teach our children about the 'whole history' of our country, and to be respectful of each other. Indigenous Australian history is often overlooked yet it is this rich, cultural heritage that makes the country so unique,” Serena Cruscanti, Goodstart Nightcliff.

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