Cultural learning at Mutitjulu
Mutitjulu Child Care Centre has played an important role in the development of training resources for Indigenous educators who work with young children in remote communities.
The aim of the project is to build the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators to apply the principles of the new national framework for early childhood learning in a way that takes into account their community’s needs and incorporates their rich knowledge of local culture.
The Australian Government, through the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, funded the initiative which targets early childhood services catering predominantly for Indigenous children in remote and very remote communities across Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
The Remote Indigenous Professional Development Project for the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia included the development of a DVD, picture work book and activities which can be used in remote early childhood services and also a booklet and a DVD which can be used by trainers and mentors to facilitate professional development sessions for the educators in those services.
In producing these resources, the project team visited a number of remote children’s services, including Mutitjulu Child Care Centre.
During their visit, the team were able to put into place some of this training but also use this experience in the development of the resources. Photos and video footage taken at Mutitjulu are used as practical examples in the DVD and trainers’ booklet.
Project Executive Director Christine Tayler, from Charles Darwin University, said the learning outcome examples provided by the staff at the Mutitjulu Child Care Centre had given the resources an authentic and culturally appropriate richness that would resonate with other Indigenous educators.
“In turn this will allow other educators to replicate culturally appropriate learning outcomes with a specific focus on literacy and numeracy for the children in their programs. These examples are already motivating and inspiring other educators in remote Australia, and more recently internationally, to be proud of their culture and to share and use culture whilst working and teaching young children.”
“It was a privilege to have worked with the Mutitjulu staff, children and families."
Mutitjulu Child Care Centre Coordinator Michelle Brownjohn said the child care staff and the mothers who attend the centre really enjoyed the visit.
“It was inspiring to see the ladies and children engaging in the activities within their cultural environment. The photos taken on the day have been a great resource as the staff and mothers love to look at them and reflect back onto the day,” she said.