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Playgroup teaches kids culture

Facilitator Dennis Duncan bonds with son Doai during the new after school program. Photo: supplied
Facilitator Dennis Duncan bonds with son Doai during the new after school program. Photo: supplied

MURWILLUMBAH Public School is running a new Kids Caring For Country after school Indigenous cultural program.

Since the success of the Murwillumbah Communities for Children's Kids Caring For Country Playgroup this new partnership focuses on community-based parenting and cultural education.

The Tweed Shire Womens Service's Lara Bennett said traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance, song, weaving and costume making was featured.

"As well as a range of art and craft activities, games and storytelling," Ms Bennett said.

"The program runs alongside the original playgroup (children zero-five years) so that families with children ranging in age groups can benefit from the program together.

"The Tweed Shire Womens Service has gone above and beyond to support and develop this program and are really setting a new standard for community based organisations in promoting cultural identity and providing training and employment opportunities for local Aboriginal and TSI communities.

"They have provided culturally appropriate resources including beautiful handmade Aboriginal soft toys, learning flash cards, books, games and art and craft resources."

Last week well known Torres Strait elder Aunty Bakoi visited the program.

"Aunty Bakoi had the children entranced as she taught them traditional TSI sit-down dances and we look forward to a visit from her again.

"We are proud to say that this program is unique to the region and it has already led to many community partnerships.

"On March 31 the Kids Caring For Country Dance Group will be performing at the opening ceremony of the Early Childhood Convention at Salt Village and we are very excited about this."

The program's aim is to connect children and families to community mentors in order to enhance cultural relationships and model effective parenting and care for children in culturally appropriate and supportive environments.

"Our focus is on learning together with our children so that cultural learning becomes a whole family and whole community activity," Ms Bennett said.

"We aim to build bridges in the community and connect families with services and programs that may benefit them."

Kids Caring For Country Playgroup runs from 3-5pm (NSW) each Wednesday at the school during term.

A Family Fun Day connected to the program will happen today at Sphinx Rock Cafe, past Kunghur in collaboration with Save the Children Mobile Play Scheme from 10am-1pm.

Phone Ms Bennett on 02 6672 4188 or email kidscaringforcountry@gmail.com for more information.

Topics:  murwillumbah public school, tweed shire women's service


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