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Proud Bundjalung woman Shataya King is using her career as an Early Childhood Educator at Possums Early Education Lismore to share important Indigenous cultural elements to the next generation, including the Bundjalung language.
Ms King studied a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care at TAFE NSW and is ensuring that language, cultural knowledge, kinship, song lines, 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 King 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 Indigenous children are accepted and celebrated and that non-Indigenous children are mindful that our country is inclusive of people from different backgrounds, said Ms King.
“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 comfortable teaching.”
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics only 2.36% of preschool teachers in 2016 identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. This is in comparison to the 3.3% of individuals in the population who identify as ATSI.
Possums Early Education Centre Director Tammy Leggo said Shataya is a great asset to the team at Possums.
“Shataya is an asset to our organisation and a credit to the early childhood education industry. Her talent and perseverance are to be admired.
“Much loved by the children and her colleagues, we are proud to have Shataya as part of our organisation.”
For more information about TAFE NSW courses, please visit www.tafensw.com.au or call 131 601.
Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Media Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org