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According to Xanthe Young, recent winner of the TAFE NSW Health Wellbeing and Community Services Student of the Year Excellence Award, Explore & Develop Leichhardt is working on specific programs for pre-school children, which run in parallel to the perspectives of Indigenous Australians.
Ms Young said, “My team embed Indigenous experiences and artefacts throughout each room as we educate the children. For example, during morning group time the children acknowledge the Traditional Owners and ongoing custodians of the land, with each class taking the creative initiative as to how they want to present this.”
Throughout the day, a variety of experiences reflect Indigenous perspectives like symbol writing in sand trays, sensory play, visiting the native bush garden, and tasting special bush tucker.
“We collect an array of natural materials for the rooms such as plants, sticks, leaves, bark, sand, dirt and more for the children to explore and play with as they gain an understanding of the land in which we live,” said Ms Young.
On many occasions Ms Young has been commended for the different creative activities she has set up for the children in their early developmental years.
“Through actively sharing Indigenous knowledge and interesting programs and activities for the children, in late May 2018 I was appointed to a role within the Indigenous Perspectives Team to educate those around me and imbed indigenous perspectives throughout the centre,” said Ms Young.
This year, during Reconciliation Week, the Explore & Develop Leichhardt Indigenous Perspectives Group are developing a centre artwork to diplay in a prominent position at the childcare centre. In the lead up to this, children will be taken into the local community to gain inspiration as to what they will create, visit the local park and the Boomalli Art Gallery, so they’re able to connect with the local community and Indigenous culture. One of the highlights for the children is making fresh tea using native herbs and fruits.
“I have always had a passion for the development of children,” said Ms Young. “Now that I have finished a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care with TAFE Digital, I’m looking forward to developing my career even further by studying a Diploma.”
Ms Young is also the proud recipient of the 'Explore & Develop Achievement Award', which families and educators at the centre nominated her for.
Media contact: Bonny Gunn, TAFE Digital Media Business Partner. M: 0417 134 048