“We wanted to create something special, something beautiful, with a unique vision of how to look after children.”Victoria Mack, Former Early Childhood Learning Coordinator
We believe that our young ones deserve the best care and education for them to reach their potential. The children of today are our future leaders, parents, elders, workers and mentors. They need the space and encouragement to strive for and achieve their dreams. We want our little ones to be like the baya gawiy, the freshwater stingrays of the Fitzroy River. They must learn to become strong swimmers, absorbing, understanding and remaining connected to their surrounding environment and communities. By providing an early childhood learning unit tailored to the needs of our community and reflecting our heritage, our children will become resilient and culturally strong for themselves, and their families and communities.
Our approach to education is based on Indigenous ways of knowing and doing which focuses on embedding the Indigenous perspective across all of our educational programs and learning environments. Our educational programs are unique in their dynamism and creativity. Fundamental to our teaching methods are active listening, experimentation and a fascination of early childhood inquiry. The activities change and shift in response to the children’s cultural identities, abilities, strengths and needs. When children come to the centre they bring with them a range of experiences that are part of a diverse and extensive web of relationships deeply connected to family, community, culture and place. Within this educational framework, we are all carers, learning and responding to one another.
Our local staff bring their extensive knowledge of their social and cultural environments to the centre. They offer advice and feedback on how best to incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing and doing into the centre’s educational framework.
We are also offering our local staff training and qualifications in early childhood education. Many of our local staff are completing their certificate three vocational training in Children’s Services. They then have the opportunity to further their studies by undertaking a Diploma of Children's Services. We believe that it is necessary to place our community’s extensive life experiences and knowledge of childhood behaviours into a formalised educational setting. Qualifications open the door to ongoing employment and ultimately to entire community ownership and running of this facility.