Last week we were very honoured to have Early Childhood Australia visit our place. They interviewed our Director and documented and filmed the ways in which we engage with the Dharawal culture through art. This documentation will be used in an online training program for early childhood professionals.
Our visitors told us they felt very welcomed and could feel a very strong sense of belonging and community as they observed how happy and relaxed the children were in our beautiful learning environment.
ECA documented the story of the beautiful art of the Dharawal creation serpent and Malou the kangaroo in our amphitheatre and the story of our beautiful mosaic. They watched in awe as the children engaged with the ochre and clay to make paint to cover their skin, using the authentic grinding stone and water. The children engaged in meaningful conversation about the ochre and clay and how it was used for traditional ceremonies and art.
Earlier in the morning many of the children had discussed and explored the significance of carved trees where the symbol or totem of a warrior or of a clan may be carved into the tree to mark out traditional territory or hunting territory or tree trunks that display memorial or spiritual carvings – teleteglyphs. The children discussed the carved tree trunk in our playground with the symbol of Jindoala – the lace monitor, the totem of Oyster Bay. They also drew and painted tree trunks combining traditional and unique symbols.
We are so proud that our respect and meaningful engagement with our Dharawal culture has been recognised by ECA and are excited to see the online training.
Thank you ECA.
Also thank you so much to our partners in these projects – Les Bursill, Mary Jacobs, and Tim Cole.