Throughout NAIDOC Week 8 – 15 November many of the Moonee Valley Early Years programs celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Children practised sharing and storytelling and demonstrated the knowledge they have gained over the year, including work done during Reconciliation Week last 27 May – 3 June. Continue reading to see the ways they are showing understanding and respect for our First Nation people.
Montgomery Park Kindergarten
The children at Montgomery Park Kindergarten explored the concept of respect. They used the books Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy and Respect by Aunty Fay Muir and Sue Lawson. This short video helps share what children understand about respect.
Avondale Heights Early Years Centre
We have begun to talk with children about how we can acknowledge the First People of this area: the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung.
The Wurundjeri People take their name from the Woi wurrung language word ‘wurun’ meaning the Manna Gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) which is common along ‘Birrarung’ (Yarra River), and ‘djeri‘, the grub which is found in or near the tree. Wurundjeri are the ‘Witchetty Grub People’ and our Ancestors have lived on this land for millennia. Woi-wurrung is the name of their language.
Getting to know local Country
The children are learning about Country – land, waterways and sky. Avondale Heights is nearly surrounded by the Maribyrnong river and the rock crossing known as Solomon’s Ford is just at the end of Canning Street.
- Read more about Solomon’s Ford and other Wurundjeri sites in Moonee Valley here.
- For more about our Reconciliation Policy and our commitment to respect, recognise and build relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people please click here.
Events like NAIDOC create a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and knowledge. However, this learning is not a one-off event. We have slowly built on children’s knowledge over the course of the year. For example:
- We started learning “Where are we?” – Avondale Heights Kindergarten in a “Colour” group in Avondale Heights on the land of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung.
- We have slowly learnt the Acknowledgment of Country as children have been able to understand the ideas.
- We have learnt about Bunjil the eagle – creator spirit and Waa the crow – the protector.
- We have listened to stories – about Melbourne, Victoria and other parts of Australia
- We learnt about the national flags of Australia and what the colours mean. Children easily identify these when they see them flying in the community.
- We have had displays in the foyer such as for reconciliation Week and connecting to local Country.