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Early Childhood services celebrate NAIDOC Week

8 March 2022

Five years ago, a small team of Early Childhood professionals from different organisations and community groups came together with the common goal of embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in the community. The group, Our Nangara Group, includes both First Nations and non-Indigenous members and was formed to fill a gap in the local community.

The founding members of Our Nangara Group include Kristy Morgan, Goodstart Shailer Park, Sharon Saunders and Kellie Still, Inclusion Support Queensland and Barry Watson, Communities for Children. The group meets monthly to plan and organise local activities and gatherings, including its largest community event, NAIDOC Week.

The thriving NAIDOC event is held annually on the Daisy Hill Primary School oval, with stalls and entertainment suitable for children aged birth to 12 years.

'The NAIDOC celebrations are about forming and strengthening relationships within the community,' Kristy Morgan said.

The event will include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers and dancers, a smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country, and offer traditional food and bush tucker tastings for all attendees. Kristy said all families and community services, along with local childcare and long day care centres have been invited to hold a stall at the NAIDOC event.

NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia each July to celebrate the history, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

While the NAIDOC event is the key activity of Our Nangara Group, Kristy acknowledged the importance of ongoing professional conversations about reconciliation and incorporating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures within early childhood services and community wide.

'It is so important to find out what's happening in your community and just be a part of it,' Kristy said.

'Spend time in the community, not just during NAIDOC week, but year-round. Regular community conversations make a real difference'.

Recently, members from Our Nangara Group were named finalists in the 2021 Queensland Reconciliation Awards and commended for their NAIDOC event.

'The work that is going on is awe inspiring and I feel very privileged and inspired to be sitting amongst that calibre of work, and for Our Nangara Group to be recognised in the Queensland Reconciliation Awards,' Kristy said.

If you are interested in exploring how you can connect with your community contact your Inclusion Professional.