My country, our country – we all belong
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day (Children’s Day) which is held on the 4th August every year, was celebrated at Cire Children’s Centre in Yarra Junction.
Children’s Day is a day to celebrate the strengths and culture of our indigenous children. It is a day to help these children stand tall and feel proud and connected to their heritage. It is also a day to help all children learn about the importance of community, culture and family.
The theme of this year’s Children’s Day was “My Country, Our Country- We All Belong.” With this in mind, the children, their parents and staff at the Centre were asked 3 questions
- What is belonging?
- What does belonging mean to you?
- What does it feel like to belong?
Some of the responses were:
“We live somewhere” Eleanor, K4
“Eating. I’m happy” Brachan, K3
“Being in a family friendly environment” Adam, indigenous parent
“With my mummy” Alannah, toddler
“Feeling a part of where I am” Michelle, parent
“The kids know me and talk to me” Leah, work placement student
“Staying with family” Aden, K4
“Feels good” Jenny, toddler
“LOVED” Ash, indigenous parent
“Have fun” Amelia, toddler
“Being accepted for who you are, not what you look like” Bec, parent
“Being part of the jigsaw” Demi, staff
“Identity and origins” Tony, staff
The Yarra Junction 4 year old kinder group (K4) had a visit from the Mount Evelyn K4 group and together they explored the Bush Kinder area. This is an area of bushland adjacent to the three and four year old kindergarten rooms and, through their time spent exploring, allows the children to engage in outdoor spaces with plants, trees, rocks, mud and water to invite open ended interactions, spontaneity, risk taking and a connection with nature and the land. The uninterrupted time spent engaging with natural materials helps the children explore and make use of the land they learn and play on.
Other activities that were held on Children’s Day included engaging with indigenous puzzles including those from indigenous Australian artists and photos of our native land and also sharing dream time stories together in bush kinder on the yarning mat. The children really enjoyed how the birds got their colours and when the snake bites the sun.
The children were inspired and enthused when they painted outdoors in the bush kinder using earth colours and tones. Educators discussed with the children how they thought people used paints long before there were paint brushes. The children were then encouraged to source their own materials for painting. Many choose bark, leaves and sticks to use in the paint.
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day was a fantastic experience for not only the children who attend Cire Children’s Centres, but also for their parents and educators.
“We would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land in which we learn and play, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.”
Related blog article – Kindergarten a child’s garden
For further information about our early childhood education and care services click here.