Has your service got a reconciliation action plan?

National Aboriginal Children’s Day (Wednesday 4 August) is a great opportunity to critically reflect on your practice and how your centre is developing actions and a curriculum around reconciliation and acknowledging the world’s oldest living culture. A good place to start is to have a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

A RAP is a strategic document that includes practical actions which will help your service contribute to reconciliation in the centre and in the community. It supports services to develop respectful relationships and create meaningful opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

At AGECS we know that getting starting on a RAP can be overwhelming. We have recently developed our own Reconciliation Action Plan, and we urge services to take a step towards their own reconciliation journey.

Developing your RAP

The Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) urges us to consider the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective throughout the document, but its importance is evident by Annette Sax’s beautiful artwork on the cover.

Page 4 of the VEYLDF states:

“…the VEYLDF recognises and respects Aboriginal cultures and their unique place in the heritage and future of Victoria. Learning about and valuing the place of Aboriginal people will enhance all Victorian children’s sense of place in our community.”

There are strong links between the principles, practices and outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework and reconciliation. Educators should seek out opportunities to link their vision and plans for reconciliation to their daily planning and practice around the Early Years Learning Framework.

Embedding this authentically into our practice can be a mammoth task and it is difficult to know where to begin your journey. Do not despair, there are resources out there to help you.

Taking the first steps

A great place to start for schools and early childhood services is the Narragunnawali website:

The aim of Narragunnawali is to support schools and early learning services to develop a higher level of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and contributions.

The Narragunnawali website has some great resources to get you started with your learning, including the steps to developing a RAP, webinars and curriculum ideas. You will also find all the information that you need to learn more about National Aboriginal Children’s Day held each year on August 4th. Follow the link to the website to sign up to the Narragunnawali mailing list.

AGECS’ RAP is available to download and you can also watch the launch of AGECS RAP.

Good luck – be brave and take the leap into embedding reconciliation into your community.