At Balnarring Preschool we acknowledge that we learn and live on Boon Wurrung Country. In the entrance a large WOMIN DJEKA sign, made by children and families welcomes everyone. We acknowledge and celebrate First Peoples perspectives and culture within all our values, beliefs and practices. The children acknowledge the land and people through songs they have written.
A written acknowledgement is displayed on the front door, and is included in all correspondence and the ATSI flags fly.
The pre-school’s Acknowledgment to Country has been regularly reviewed in response to deeper understanding and as our knowledge has developed.. At the commencement of each year the families are invited to a Welcome to Country ceremony as we welcome them to the Pre-school and Elders welcome us to Boon Wurrung Country. Each committee meeting, one member is asked to share their own acknowledgment. These personal acknowledgments represent what they have learnt since their child and them have become part of the program.
Balnarring Pre-school believes it is our responsibility to develop relationships with: staff, children, families, the community, First Peoples and environment and that this learning should be explicit for all children and their families, both non-indigenous and indigenous. Regular conversations with Boon Wurrung Elders guide practices, we speak and sing Boon Wurrung language and intentionally share First Peoples history, ways of knowing and doing. Links between First Peoples perspectives, sustainable practices and respectful relationships with each other and Land are now strong throughout all our philosophy, practices and pedagogy.
Balnarring preschool believes it is important for all children to learn about the oldest living culture in the world, whether Aboriginal families were/are enrolled. We have come to know the importance of embedding First Peoples perspectives into an early childhood program for all children – both non-indigenous and indigenous. We also believe it is vital that all early childhood services create environments that welcome their local First Peoples children and families.
We hope that by making First Peoples cultures visible we become a centre of choice for indigenous families, we are supporting better outcomes for all children in our community.