For over thousands of years, Aboriginal People have lived on Country as the Traditional Owners and whether your family have been in Australia for five years, five decades or across multiple generations, what unites us all is that we are all standing on Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Land.
Scientific findings suggest that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have sustainably lived with the Land for more than 120,000 years. They continue to value and care for Country which represents a very important part of our shared history.
With Country being so important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures, and with environmental sustainability being more important now than ever before, supporting all children that come into our care is one of our main priorities. Our goal at Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure is to support children to build a personal sense of responsibility and respect for the world around them through education and our holistic child care curriculum.
We commit to actively connecting with and caring for the planet on which our early learning centre stands. This involves respectfully learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, philosophies, and practices about caring for Country, as well as physically demonstrating respect for the skies, waterways, and land on which we live and learn.
Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure considers our First Nations perspectives as part of broader sustainability plans, policies, and practices. This is outlined within the centre’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and our Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) which is available to access by the community, families and team.
Providing positive opportunities for all of our Sanctuary family, as well as our community to become socially and environmentally responsible and display a growing awareness of the importance of First Nations land management and sustainability is done in the following ways:
- Acknowledgement to Country and to our Traditional Landowners.
- Developing a Reconciliation Action Plan with Reconciliation Australia.
- Developing a Sustainability Action Plan with children’s, families, educators and the wider community’s input.
- Creating a bush tucker garden for children to look after our native plants. These plants are used in play and cooking experiences at our child care centres.
- Creating community links with local catchment care groups and environmental organisations. Aboriginal Elders visit the centre to share cultural experiences and traditions with children to enhance their learning and understanding.
- Developing and understanding the concept of ‘Country’ according to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives.
- Reflection on what ‘home’ or ‘place’ means and why it is important to connect with and care for Country.
- Developing an awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander relationships with knowledge of, and sustainable approaches to caring for Country.
- Developing an awareness of the historical and cultural significance of the land on which our early learning centre stands.
- Developing knowledge of culturally significant sites in our local area.
The relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Country is considered sacred, and is interconnected with identity, family/kinship, traditions, languages, cultures, and physical, spiritual, and socio-emotional wellbeing.
By appropriately drawing on local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, we embed the value and learn the importance of caring for Country first-hand, and in culturally appropriate and meaningful ways.
By building awareness of the impact humans have on the environment, children, families and educators at Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure learn how to play a role in positively living with, rather than imposing on, the Land.
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