A fun day of activities, learning and playing for a group of pre-school children has helped them forge deeper connections with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, culture and community.
The children of KU Peninsula Preschool in Raymond Terrace spent time with Worimi elder Uncle John Ridgeway, plus ATSI students from Tanilba Bay and Irrawang public schools and Irrawang high school on August 9 as part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day.
Alison Harwood from The Smith Family said it was the third year the schools had come together with the organisation, Port Stephens Council and Save The Children for the event that celebrated ATSI culture and identity.
“This is a celebration to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children immerse themselves in their own culture and explore their identity,” Ms Harwood said.
“Culture and identity is central to children’s growth. We know that when children are strong in their identity and proud of their heritage that they do well in school and in life.”
Ms Harwood said that involving older students and elders in the day gave the young children role models in the community. Often, too, older students are siblings to the pre-schoolers.
Ms Harwood said it was important for the young children to see their older siblings celebrating their culture.
Sandra Cameron, coordinator for KU’s steps to starting school, said the day was “excellent”.
“It’s so humbling to see how this community works together for the sake of the young children,” she said.