Header artwork has been sourced by Reconciliation Australia. It was designed by artist Jessica Johnson for National Reconciliation Week 2021. Learn more about the artwork, its elements, and the artist here.
Our commitment to reconciliation
As educators of Australia's next generation, early childhood professionals are in a unique position of privilege and responsibility to support reconciliation. What we teach our children today will form the foundation for Australia's cultural beliefs in the future. Affinity Education Group is proud to be working with Narragunnawali who support schools and early learning services in Australia to develop environments that foster knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions.
From exploring Dreamtime stories and connecting with country outdoors to meeting local Elders and learning about history through art and performance, our Educators and Teachers have worked hard to create age-appropriate learning programs to engage even the littlest learners with the concept of reconciliation.
Across our Milestones Early Learning community in Townsville, our centre managers are actively engaging in inclusive practices to build Strategic Inclusion Plans (SIP). This is also being rolled out across Affinity Education’s 190+ services nation-wide – a huge achievement and indication of our commitment to improving and embedding inclusive practices.
Last month, National Reconciliation Week provided a timely reminder to develop our Townsville centre community Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP) which are further supported by Affinity’s Reconciliation Advocates who provide training, support, resources, and engagement with guest speakers.
Adriana Eve, Area Manager said: “As part of our Strategic Inclusion Planning it is our goal to be authentic in embedding Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander cultures into our environments. We look forward to sharing the outcomes of these strategies and actions across our Milestones Early Learning community in Townsville”.
What is Affinity’s long-term vision for reconciliation?
Affinity has a company-wide commitment to reconciliation in our organisation, led by our Reconciliation Working Group. This passionate team is committed to creating a safe space for educators to share their knowledge and experiences during their reconciliation journey, as well as grow their knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s cultures, histories, and contemporary realities.
Program Lead Sarah Druery says, “We want to empower Educators to feel confident in their ability to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives within their curriculums and daily practices.”
What is the importance of reconciliation in early childhood education and care?
A child’s early years lay the foundations for lifelong learning. Exploring reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community is a key part of nurturing culturally competent children who feel connected with their community.
Through experiences such as daily Acknowledgement of Country, exploring Indigenous art and stores, and connecting with the land around us, we can build a strong foundation for future learning, with knowledge and experiences that empower them to be brave and make change.