OMG!! We are pinching ourselves right now.
Kids in Action has just been named the State winner of the partnerships category for the 2020 Queensland Reconciliation Awards. This award affirms our deep respect and relationship with the Jinibara, Kabi Kabi/ Gubbi Gubbi peoples who guide our work and add immeasurable value to the program. Thank you to all involved, our sponsors, our mentors, volunteers, teachers and the kids of the greater Sunshine Coast Regional Council footprint. 2020 is going to be next level. This is only the beginning!! We are all on a life long journey to acknowledge and learn from First Nations peoples. We are extremely excited about how we can continue to walk together to become better custodians of Country.
I am very fortunate to be a part of an amazing team that continues to deliver culturally responsive best practices. We call ourselves the “Birdies” and we are a group of 4 women who share a passion for the environment and First Nations histories and cultures. We call ourselves the ‘Birdies’ as we all have a deep relationship and affiliation with birds as our spirit animal. Karen is the Brush Turkey, I’m the Black Cockatoo and Lisa and Mandy are White-bellied Sea Eagle. And funnily enough, our personalities emulate those birds and their behaviours within the ecosystem and broader community. Most importantly, we are guided by the ancestors, Elders and Community leaders who’s country we live and work on.
In 2019 we worked together with the Traditional Custodians and community from Jinibara, Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi countries to deliver a program like no other which spoke to the theme – Celebrating Nature’s Icons. Here the opportunity to engage First Nations mentors to guide the programs was a ‘no-brainer’. By all accounts, it was the “BEST year ever”. We also ensured that Teachers involved with the program had the opportunity to strengthen their cultural capability, so it was essential that we provide a Professional Development opportunity that demonstrated 8 ways, Uncle Ernie’s Framework and Yarning Circles.
I remember at the end of the Environmental Projects Day, I was in the car park watching all the First Nations community ‘high fiving’ each other and reunifying as a broader community. The tensions of the past were overshadowed by the success of the day. And this success was because we all came together with the same agenda – to build a greater sense of Custodial responsibility within 350 students and volunteers.
In 2020, we strive to take Kids in Action to the next level, even with the complexities that COVID-19 has provided. We are going online and are currently filming First Nations mentors and non-Indigenous experts in their field to bring a program that aligns with the theme – ‘We are Botanica’. Watch this space, it is going to be amazing. Thank you again to all involved.
We all thank the panel of judges for affirming what we know to be a great example of how partnerships can build Reconciliation. For more information, head to https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Environment/Education-Resources-and-Events/Kids-in-Action-Program/Kids-in-Action