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Empowering Our Youth

Empowering our Youth Indigenous program

Jingeri, Bright Kids Early Learning is excited to welcome  Uncle Allen into our Bright kids community and family.

Uncle Allen is a Minjungbal (Tweed River)/ Mininjali (Logan/Beaudesert) Traditional Custodian and Elder of the Yugambeh Language group, Bundjalung Nation.

Together Uncle Allen and our Educators work closely together in educating our children about Indigenous culture.

If you were at our ‘Family Funday’ event on July 26th, you would have met Uncle Allen and witnessed him conduct a ‘Welcome to Country’ at the official ceremony and perform a traditional smoking ceremony in the new environmental yard. The smoking ceremony wards off and cleanses negative energy in the centre.

Our first lesson

Late last month, Uncle Allen met with the children for the first time.

He brought with him a lot of interesting artifacts. One by one he produced an object from his large basket for the children to hold and investigate.

He shared his knowledge of;

  • each object;
  • where it came from;
  • what purpose it served;
  • how it was used; and
  • the Yugambeh word for the item.

The items were passed around the group, taking a lot of care and being respectful the children used their senses to investigate it.

Uncle Allen brought with him 2 animal hides which were of particular interest to the children. With the boldness only children have they wanted to know;

“where is the rest of the animal and how did it die”

Uncle Allen explained that both animals were hit by cars and to give respect to the animals their hides were collected and now used to educate others.

Uncle Allen also brought with him samples of lots of natural resources and explained how they were used by traditional Indigenous people.

He had 2 types of honeycomb, when the children were passing this container around and smelling the rich honey a cheeky honey bee stopped by for a visit on one of the children hats. I happily relocated this bee onto one of the trees.

Uncle Allen shared his passion for music by playing the didgeridoo for the group.

The children accompanied him using instruments he also brought along, including;

  • several pairs of clapsticks;
  • an Emu caller;
  • a small drum; and
  • a pair of boomerangs which were struck together like clapsticks.

To finish off his time with us Uncle Allen showed the class how to make paint using ochre from rocks collected from Tallebudgera Beach. Using the paint, he marked the children’s hand with 2 straight lines…

“A symbol for safe travels”

To follow on from Uncle Allen’s Cultural Awareness and Cultural Inclusion program the pre-prep children made their own finger and body paint.

Knowing which rocks and minerals can be used in this way is a taught skill.

As we didn’t have access to different coloured ochre the children chose coloured chalk similar to the colours used in the indigenous artwork visual aids; Dreamtime  Cards illustrated by Laura Bowen.

Using a wooden block, the children pounded, pushed and crushed the chalk into small particles.

They then added small amounts of water at a time to the powder to make a thick paste.

When they were satisfied with the consistency of the paint, they used it to make a dot painting. Several children also used it as body paint. Making dots and line marking on their hands and forearm.

We are looking forward to Uncle Allen’s next visit with anticipation and wonder, Miss Patti and the Sea Turtles.

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