Proud Kamilaroi woman, Miss Barbie, has led children and her fellow educators at Prestons World of Learning in a range of NAIDOC Week celebrations as they build upon their knowledge of Indigenous culture this week.
Since joining the centre two years ago, Miss Barbie has been actively sharing her culture with her community and working to embed Indigenous education into centre practices.
“For me it is important to create a space where children, families and my colleagues can ask questions freely in the interest of learning more,” she said.
“Since joining the centre I have introduced daily acknowledgements of country and consistent Indigenous education practices across all rooms.”
The centre’s NAIDOC Week celebrations will be focused on Indigenous totems and storytelling, beginning with a full centre smoking ceremony performed by Miss Barbie.
“The smoking ceremony is a really important part of our celebrations and recognition of NAIDOC Week,” she said.
“The preschool room will be creating their own picture book about the local Gandangara totems of magpies and crows.”
“The nursery room educators will also do a live story telling where the children can interact with live earth elements like mud and sand as the story is told.”
World of Learning is part of the G8 Education network, one of Australia’s largest early learning providers dedicated to its purpose of creating the foundations for learning for life.
G8 Education’s Head of Early Learning and Education, Ali Evans, said NAIDOC Week provides a great opportunity to extend on existing practices with cultural and community-based learning experiences.
“NAIDOC Week is about celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and knowledges and that is exactly what Miss Barbie is leading her children and team to do, not just this week but consistently through embedded practices,” she said.
“As educators and teachers we are in a unique position of shaping our leaders of the future, and it is learning like this that will make for a more socially just and united Australia.”
Miss Barbie said she is grateful for the opportunity to share her knowledge with her centre community, particularly during significant times like NAIDOC Week.
“For me NAIDOC Week is about kinship and spending time with family to share stories and ask questions,” she said.
“Luckily for me, I also have a similar, deep connection with my centre community, and I feel fortunate to have the chance to share my culture with so many people.”
To learn more about Prestons World of Learning visit the website, book a tour online or call 1800 413 995.