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Making steps towards healing and reconciliation - a story of our journey at Camp Australia

Blog - 04 August 2021

Making steps towards healing and reconciliation - a story of our journey at Camp Australia

Wednesday 4th August is National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, and the theme for 2021 is Proud in culture, strong in spirit. This day commenced in 1988 and is an opportunity to give all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children a national voice, focusing on their development and wellbeing to ensure educational equality.

At Camp Australia, this pursuit of educational equality and increased awareness and understanding of the world’s oldest continuing culture is something we hold dear to our hearts. As a national childcare organisation that contributes to the education of thousands of children, we believe it is our responsibility to lead the childcare sector. We have a commitment to Guide Children’s Growth, and we have seen first-hand how this commitment can contribute to children’s understanding and engagement in the rich and diverse cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We have been an active supporter of many Indigenous events throughout our corporate history. A significant part of our Camp Australia program is National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week. Across the nation, our services program opportunities for children to explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and learn through engagement and expression during and beyond those weeks.

Art and cooking experiences encourage children to explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and appreciate their achievements.

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An educator from The Hills Grammar in New South Wales explains, “We engage children in various creative art activities and damper bread cooking experiences to develop their understanding and empathy skills by responding to diversity with respect.”

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In one of our services in Queensland, the children got creative with natural materials during NAIDOC Week, exploring Australian flora and fauna, which was a welcome outdoor activity.

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During NAIDOC Week, educators from Mount Annan Christian College in New South Wales were proud to create a display for children at their service and the school community to admire.

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A special visitor from the school community at Pottsville Beach Primary School in New South Wales spent time with children in-service to create some beautiful paintings as part of National Reconciliation Week.

While our purpose is to Guide Children's Growth, we know that children also guide us as educators and parents. Children approach this exploration and events with natural curiosity and enthusiasm. They come with open hearts and minds. Our ongoing commitment to making a difference in the present and guiding our children for the future has led us to the development of our RAP, which we are delighted to be submitting to Reconciliation Australia on National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day.

Over time we hope our RAP will enhance our position as an inclusive place to work and that our services support the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

We are taking this journey of reconciliation with children, families, and the schools we work with, and we hope these are steps towards healing and reconciliation. As an industry, we must recognise the influence we have to enable an authentic understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Camp Australia hopes that RAPs will be the industry norm, enabling all of us to take pride in the continuation of a strong culture that’s forever strong in spirit.

If you would like to learn more about our services, please visit www.campaustralia.com.au.

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