Winning inaugural award puts Bonnyrigg Early Learning Centre in the spotlight

Published Monday, 4th November 2019

Child from Wakeley Early Learning Centre drawing a boomerang

Bonnyrigg Early Learning Centre was in the spotlight on Saturday, 26 October at the Excellence in Early Childhood Education Awards, celebrating exceptional educators and services in the community.

The Council-run facility was the winner in the category of Community Involvement Excellence out of 24 finalists, for the implementation of the Aboriginal Pedagogy in their Early Years Learning Framework.

Bonnyrigg Early Learning Centre identified the value of embedding the 8 Ways of Learning into their programming to improve engagement with the local Aboriginal community.

The framework allows educators to include Aboriginal values, perspectives and ways of teaching to enhance learning for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students.

Fairfield City Mayor Frank Carbone said early education plays a vital role in ensuring our children embrace the cultural importance of Indigenous past, present and future.

“It’s important that our children grow with an understanding and respect for Aboriginal perspectives as part of our commitment to The Early Years Learning Framework,” Mayor Carbone said.

“Bonnyrigg Early Learning Centre does a truly outstanding job in nurturing our young children, and should be commended for the part it plays in our City’s success.”

Some of their initiatives included:

  • Create an edible ‘Bush Tucker’ garden with support from a local Aboriginal elder
  • Compose a song/poem for the children and families to participate in together each morning that Acknowledges Country and the traditional custodians of the land of the Cabrogal of the Darug Nation
  • Introduce Aboriginal resources to the classroom which form part of everyday stories and play time
  • Engage with local Aboriginal artists to commission a custom mural with the children representing themes of community, connection, inclusion and a love of learning.

Australian Childcare Alliance President Lyn Connolly congratulated finalists and winners, stating:

“The Awards provide a wonderful opportunity to recognise the great work that educators do and the role they play in the lives of children, their families and the broader community.

“We thank each of you for your dedication and perseverance within your services, your participation within the sector provides endless benefits for the children of NSW.”

Enrolments for Bonnyrigg Early Learning Centre for 2020 are now open. Visit www.fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au/cfs for more information.