At the heart of our journey towards reconciliation are relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures and futures. This year marked 20 years since the start of the movement for reconciliation.

To mark this special occasion, to promote unity and mutual respect, and to provide an opportunity for the children to learn about our shared histories and cultures, Jahjumbeen Kindergarten and Child Care Centre engaged in a group art project around this year’s theme ‘In this together’.

Jahjumbeen Childcare - Reconciliation Artwork 3Alex, a Child Care Educator at our Jahjumbeen Kindergarten & Child Care Centre, said the week started by painting a large cardboard map of Australia. This brought on a discussion in small groups about Reconciliation Week, and what being ‘In this together’ means and the role we play in reconciliation.

“We traced our feet, and each painted these. This was a tremendous opportunity to learn about Indigenous art as well. We examined some samples of work by Indigenous artist Anna Price Petyarre. Then we created our own works of art and dot paintings on our feet,” says Alex.

Jahjumbeen Childcare - Reconciliation Artwork 2“Later we worked together to attach these to the map of Australia to show that we as Australians have come together and are walking together to build a brighter and more equitable future and a community that respects and values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Jahjumbeen Childcare - Reconciliation Artwork 2“One of our educators added some of our hand prints in colours that symbolise the Indigenous and Torres Strait Island flags.”

Providing opportunities to learn more about Indigenous culture has always been something Wesley Mission Queensland strive to do in our child care services. Since Reconciliation Week, Jahjumbeen have kept children engaged by putting an image of the Rainbow Serpent from Dreamtime up on the wall. Gradually, the kids have been placing scales onto it together as a community.