Mandurah’s Jack & Jill Child Care Centre embraces local Aboriginal culture

Youngsters at Mandurah’s Jack & Jill Child Care Centre embraced the forms of native Australian animals in song and dance at a special cultural experience lead by local Aboriginal icon George Walley. 

Through fun and interactive activities such as mimicking the actions of kangaroos, dingo and snakes, children learned how our first nations people interpret and interact with their country.

The cultural day, held on June 6, gave children an opportunity listen to tales from an expert on local Noongar culture.

Organised by Jack & Jill Child Care Centre staff, the day was a celebration of culture a chance for the organisation to show off their recently commissioned artwork by a local Aboriginal artist. 

Hanging in their reception area and splashed across staff members’ uniforms, the colourful piece by Port Kennedy talent Antoinette Roe draws inspiration from the region. 

Mr Walley said cultural education and awareness was important for young people and was impressed with how attentive the children were throughout his presentation. 

Jack & Jill Child Care Centre children and staff with George Walley. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.

Jack & Jill Child Care Centre children and staff with George Walley. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.

Mr Walley incorporated lessons about local flora and fauna into his presentation and songs. 

Jack & Jill Child Care Centre owner and operator Danni Miles was thrilled with the children’s eagerness to learn from Mr Walley.

The centre has been a feature in Mandurah for more than 30 years and Ms Miles said it was important for children to see the connection they have to their community. 

She said, along with the commissioned artwork, the centre was also hoping to acquire old pieces of wood from Mandurah’s old traffic bridge to create a bench that acknowledged the region’s Aboriginal community. 

On top of Mr Walley’s visit, children had the opportunity to make damper, didgeridoos and finger paintings. 

The centre doesn’t just have its sights set on teaching children about Aboriginal culture. 

Educator Demi Powell said all parents were invited to share their backgrounds, as the centre hoped to hold different cultural days in the future.