First term was very much taken up with establishing basic routines, settling everyone in and getting to know each other. Now we have added another more complex routine to our week, with a formal acknowledgement of country each Monday.
We started talking about First People’s late last term when one of the children asked about the picture of Aunty Joy Murphy on our wall. We read her Welcome to Country book, which introduced Bunjil, and the Woi Wurrung language.
This week, we told the children some of the history of Australia, and talked about how the Wurundjeri people are the traditional owners of the land our kindergarten is on.
Our Acknowledgement of Country ritual involves Bunjil welcoming the children onto his country. We have a Bunjil puppet. To start our first morning meeting of the week, we ask the children to be completely quiet to respect Bunjil. Bunjil flies in and flies over each child, and then says the welcome words in Woi Wurrung that Aunty Joy put in her book. It is a solemn moment.
The children are very interested and are asking a lot of questions and sharing what they know about Bunjil.