Nadia Cook is using her career as an Early Childhood Educator at Old Bar Community Preschool to share important Indigenous cultural elements to the next generation, including the Gathang language.
Ms Cook studied a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care at TAFE NSW Taree and is ensuring that language, cultural knowledge, kinship, songlines, and stories are being passed on from generation to generation.
According to Reconciliation Australia, learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures allows students to develop respect for diversity and understanding of cultural difference. Lessons of this nature also promotes the closing of the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians on life expectancy, educational achievement and employment opportunities.1
Ms Cook said she finds it very important to teach children Indigenous cultural knowledge from a young age to help develop their understanding of diversity.
“It’s important that non-Indigenous children are mindful that our country is inclusive of people from different backgrounds, said Ms Cook.
“Not being from an Indigenous background, I would have loved learning more about Aboriginal culture when I was younger. It is important to show how much the culture is respected by all doing our part to keep it alive.”
“My TAFE NSW teachers have many years’ experience in their industry, so they have a terrific currency of knowledge to offer students. The anecdotes and experiences they share in class inspired me to share with my students what I feel is important to teach.”
Old Bar Community Preschool Director Merri McLoughlin said Nadia is an amazing educator and a valuable member of our team.
“Nadia is an asset to our organisation and is a credit to the Early Childhood Education industry. We are very proud to have Nadia as part of our organisation.”
“Nadia has inspired all of our educators and children in developing their knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal culture and with many of our families, she has worked to build stronger links between our pre-school and our local Indigenous community. “
For more information about TAFE NSW early childhood courses, please visit www.tafensw.com.au or call 131 601.
Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Media Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org