We would like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land where we live, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We pay respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognise they are the first people of Australia.
NAIDOC Week is an important celebration held in Australia every year from the first Sunday in July. It is an opportunity for Australians to recognise the culture and history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and celebrate their achievements.
NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, which includes representatives from states and territories across Australia who all play a key part in organising the national celebrations every year.
There are many activities and events held across the country where Australians can learn about First Nations Culture, get to know their local community, learn, connect and reflect on the challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the past and in the present, as well as find out ways that they can provide support and make positive changes in the future.
NAIDOC Week Celebrations at Kids Club
Coming Together as One
During NAIDOC week at Kids Club we have been engaging our children and team members in different experiences and activities to support awareness and education of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples culture, history and achievements.
In acknowledgement to our First Nation peoples the children were introduced to Aboriginal artists and authors, encouraged to explore various art and craft activities with natural resources and indigenous coloured paints the children could use to create their artworks, creating flags, painting rocks, and drawing of traditional dreamt time stories. Providing the children with these experiences allows to develop their understanding and empathy skills by responding to diversity with respect.
Extending the experience, educators have created a variety of sensory trays filled with natural resources: using orange lentils (representing the orange sandy outback ground), natural bush plants, Lilli Pillis, rocks, sand, Australian native animals and Aboriginal symbols for children to explore and learn.
Discussions occurred around how Aboriginal Australians have used and use different ways to communicate such as, symbolic drawings, and presented in the form of art and storytelling. The children were invited to explore our sand writing provocation: ‘Can you create these symbols?’ to extend the children’s interest in knowing more about the traditional owners of the land and how we pay our respects. By providing a range of open-ended experiences, it enhances the children’s knowledge on the world around us and the history behind the beautiful country we live in.
We spoke about how traditions have been passed down from generation to generation through storytelling and together we read some Dreamtime stories. The Indigenous peoples would create stories through the Dreamtime and past the stories down to the next generations. Reading the Dreamtime stories together was a beautiful experience for us all, as we used our imaginations to see the words come to life. After the readings the children then draw what we imagined.
How exciting to see all the artwork the children came up with and to display each unique piece of art for everyone to admire.
NAIDOC week provides a great opportunity for us to provoke learning in our children about the long Aboriginal Australian history, the beautiful culture and the amazing achievements of Indigenous Australians.
Here is the land. Here is the sky. Here is the water. Here are our friends. And here am I. (Acknowledgment of the Country)
Learning about the culture of Indigenous Australians always excites the children and keeps them interested in learning about diversity and Aboriginal Australian history. The children respond to diversity with respect and become aware of fairness.