Indigenous progams

 

“Early childhood education not only works to create a strong and stable foundation in formal education for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait children, but also provides an opportunity for those children to grow in, and share their sense of pride in their connection to culture, language, community and country” (Biripi early childhood teacher, Adam Duncan)

The Australian government has committed to ‘Closing the Gap’ between Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous Australians. As identified in the 2018 Closing the Gap report, the preschool years are a critical period for a child’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. They can influence health, wellbeing, education and employment outcomes. Accessing education during this time can reduce the impact of barriers caused by disadvantage and poverty.1

Access to high quality early childhood education improves literacy, numeracy, social and developmental skills, providing children with ‘school readiness’, which helps to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children entering primary school. Conversely, a lack of early education leads to a range of challenges for Indigenous children in their later school careers.2

There are a number of barriers to Indigenous children accessing early learning services, including cost, mistrust, and lack of cultural understanding or Indigenous involvement on the part of the service. Globe Wilkins’ success in overcoming these common barriers is reflected in its higher than average enrollment of Indigenous students (currently 13%).

Globe Wilkins has a culture which values and respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, and has a long history of developing and maintaining Indigenous participation thanks to the substantial cultural competence of its educators, an Aboriginal identified educator, and the many Indigenous programs embedded in the curriculum.

Globe preschool provides a warm, welcome and valuable service to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander children and families by promoting positive images of Culture, with particular regard and respect for the local Eora Nation – Cadigal-Wangal Peoples & Language. Educators actively and continuously encourage non-Indigenous children to explore and deepen their understanding about Aboriginal Culture.

Globe Wilkins collaborates closely with its local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) across a range of initiatives, including:

  • Creating an Aboriginal Cultural Framework to guide theory and practice in Early Childhood Educational settings across Council services.
  • Designing a program investigating ways educators can better understand and implement appropriate Aboriginal cultural curricula, including connections with community and using appropriate protocols relevant to the local community.
  • Designing and implementing a pilot Aboriginal Language Program for the preschool setting, in conjunction with Tilman Park and May Murray early learning centres, relevant stakeholders and the Aboriginal community.
  • Providing educators with opportunities to build on and deepen their understanding and knowledge of local communities, cultural practice, language/groups, creation narratives and ceremonies.

Globe Wilkins’ knowledge of, and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions is well known, and has been the foundation of the development of strong ties with the local Indigenous community. The loss of these important relationships, and the opportunity for future generations of Indigenous children to learn and grow in this exceptional preschool are at risk if Globe’s future is not secured.


1 Commonwealth of Australia, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Closing the Gap Prime Minister’s Report 2018.

2 Karoly, L. A., Kilburn, M. R., & Cannon, J. S. (2005). Proven Benefits of Early childhood intervention. Pittsburgh, PA: Rand Corporation.