The 4th of August this year is National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s day where we as a nation can celebrate and acknowledge the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s strengths and culture . Go to their official website to find out more. 

The theme this year is “Proud in culture, strong in spirit,” a focus we are passionate about cultivating at The Benevolent Society through our Jarjums playgroup at our Coomera Early Years Centre.

The Jarjums Playgroup

Jarjums is a supported playgroup for children aged 0-5 years and their families. It celebrates and supports strong foundations in culture and language of our First Nations People. Families come together to meet, connect and play.  

During the playgroup, parents and their children are led by one of our facilitators in a number of activities, from learning a new song or dance and reading a story, to working on traditional craft like yarn. Parents and carers also use this time to come together to share ideas and experiences with other families within a respectful and safe, non-judgmental environment.

Melanie is a Child Development Specialist who has been working with children and families at the Coomera Early Years Centre for over six years. Mel identfies as an Aborginal woman and helps to facilitate the Jarjums groups.  

“When families arrive at Jarjums, they get to singing culture,” she says. “We all learn from each other around singing, art, craft, play, and just enjoy a good time.”

It's really important to have that enrichment of background in Aboriginal culture and heritage. Sharing that amongst the many families that attend our group, seeing them grow and having aspirations to share amongst each other is great to see,” she says. 

Kailen, who attends the Jarjums playgroup with his son, was surprised by how comfortable and welcoming the group was. 

“The playgroup is a really good way for my son and I to build a positive relationship in regards to our culture, and I meet other dads and other mums and you get to chat and it really makes you feel a lot more comfortable, in your own skin,” he says.

Access and quality is essential to making it work

Michael Currie, Principal Advisor of Indigenous Development, at The Benevolent Society and a  Munujahli Yugambeh man who is promoting and advocating for more services which empower and assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.

 “When you work with Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander children and families, you're standing beside them and supporting them to take their rightful leadership in educating and raising their children,” says Michael.

“We need to ensure access and equity of services that are able to be locally accessed in the communities in which Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people live. It's about ensuring that our services are accessible and that parents can see and be a part of the curriculum development and programs and the activities that are provided for the children who are genuinely engaged in that process.” 

 

Interested in enrolling or learning more?

If you would like to enrol or enquire further about the the Jarjums programs or programs available at our Early Years Centre’s in Queensland contact us customer.care@benevolent.org.au and we’ll be in touch to discuss further.