Batchelor Institute » Willowra Playgroup National Children’s Day Picnic keeping Culture Strong
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Date:September 17, 2015

Willowra Playgroup National Children’s Day Picnic keeping Culture Strong


By Catherine Maughan and Melinda Noe

Willowra Playgroup celebrated this year’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day with a picnic to the local creek.

The picnic was jointly organised by Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education and World Vision Australia staff in consultation with the Warlpiri Early Childhood Care reference group.

“The aim of the excursion was to incorporate Aboriginal culture into our program and to have an enjoyable day out with children, staff and families.” Melinda Noe – Playgroup Coordinator

Yapa Play Leaders Antoinette Glen and Jasmine Spencer did cultural activities with the children. Antoinette helped the children to find and collect the right branches to make a humpy. Jasmine started digging in the sand for water or frogs. The children put their feet into the hole and could feel the change in temperature and the dampness of the sand.
The experiences of building the humpy and digging for water allowed the children to develop both their fine and gross motor skills. “It was great to see the children using science and math concepts, as well as development of social skills through interaction with the other children and adults” said Melinda.
Melinda also said that the outing met all of the outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework:

  • Children have a strong sense of identity – I am Aboriginal and I live in Willowra. I belong to playgroup
  • Children are connected with and contribute to their world – children have a sense of belonging to a group such as families, play group, learn about their culture, help to cook, make humpies, and dig for water
  • Children have a strong sense of well-being – children trust the staff and parents to look after them and do the right thing, and keep them safe
  • Children are confident and involved learners – children were confident to explore and learn about the environment for example cooking kangaroo tail, digging for water, and confident to try new things
  • Children are effective communicators –children played cooperatively with their friends, asked for help from adults, parents and expressed how they felt, and solved problems through negotiation.


“This was a great opportunity to keep the culture strong, the children were involved in Warlpiri cultural activities with their family members in a safe outdoor environment that is familiar to them” said Melinda.

The Willowra Playgroup is funded through the Warlpiri Education and Training Trust (WETT) and Batchelor Institute.