The Gap Kindergarten and Child Care Centre has a team of dedicated childcare professionals who provide opportunities to children and families to learn more about Australia’s rich culture. To support educational activity on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture and history, the centre has engaged with Cultural Inclusions, who specialise in cultural awareness, education and support in the early childhood sector.
Since 2019 the Gap Kindergarten and Child Care Centre have created a close relationship with the Founder of Cultural Inclusions, Cecelia Wright. Cecelia Wright is originally from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait and works with early childhood educators to embed Indigenous culture into their educational program.
Last year, The Gap’s Kindergarten room engaged Cecelia to run a series of workshops with the children. The educators also spent an evening engaging in Professional Development with Cecelia, which then led to a family day which involved families learning about the activities that Cecelia had taught.
Cecelia says one of her favourite parts of educating the children was seeing their connection to the Torres Strait Islands build and grow with each workshop.
“The children naturally took those learnings into the playground and to their homes to create a wonderful inclusive environment,” says Cecelia. “Each visit the Educators would share their observations and stories of what the children had been engaging in to include the Torres Strait Islands throughout their play. It is truly an amazing achievement—not just for me as an Educational Consultant but also for the Torres Strait Islander Community. This is keeping our culture and knowledge alive.”
Although Cultural Inclusions workshops are run for a short period, the centre has continued to celebrate Island culture by having Floral Friday every week, where educators and children come dressed in their brightest clothes.
The centre’s Kindergarten Teacher, Kate, took part in a week-run learning tour on Thursday Islander. Kate saw the importance of the Indigenous community and the valuable role Elders play.
“At the Gap Kindergarten and Child care Centre, we recognise that we are privileged to live in Australia, which has the longest continuously surviving culture. We know that we have lots to learn about how to be in this country and our children have a right to learn its unique story,” says Kate.
“We know that the best way that children learn is by building relationships, exploring and having long term learning. Having Cecelia visit our service over several weeks allowed us to engage with Torres Strait culture in a deep and meaningful way. The children formed a very strong connection with her and the whole centre enjoyed continuing our journey of learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait culture.”
The Gap Kindergarten and Child Care Centre are excited to continue their relationship with Cecelia, Cultural Inclusions and the Indigenous community.
Interested in enrolling your child in one of Wesley Mission Queensland’s child care services? Visit their Child Care webpage.