This vignette shows the experience of an early childhood educator, Kelly Wright, as she uses Indigenous artefacts as a tool to support learning and cultural understanding within her program.
The yarning mat and didgeridoo supporting group time: QCOSS Embrace
My name is Kelly. I’m from the Gungarri people out in Mitchell.
A lovely friend gave me the yarning mat. I thought this would be amazing for my children to be part of a group, to participate in a group activity.
Some of my children are a bit shy and don’t always like to talk while we are having group time. I just put it on the carpet one day and to my surprise there were a few children sitting on it just talking and playing with cars. So then I sat down with them and I explained this is our Yarning mat.
Indigenous people might sit on these to have a conversation about anything. What’s for dinner? How’s the weather? Just to get the conversation going and to get people talking.
While we’re on the mat it was jibber jabber everywhere, everyone was just talking it was awesome. To hear children have an input on group discussions that wouldn’t normally have group discussion.
Whilst we’re sitting on the yarning mat everyone wanted to have a turn. We attempted the put your hand up if you wanted to have a chat. Didn’t really last that long. They loved the yarning mat so I thought, why not incorporate another Indigenous tool which was the didgeridoo.
We had made it previously. We learnt about the musical instruments of the Indigenous people. So I thought the children have made this didgeridoo how about we use it while we are talking.
So I explained to the children if you have the didgeridoo you are in control of the conversations. With a few hiccups here and there the children soon learnt that if I have the didgeridoo it’s my time to talk – everyone has to listen.
- Camera Operator and Sound Recordist: Ranu James
- Interviews by: Cherie Lamb
- Director Editor: Ranu James
- Kelly Wright, Educator
- Andrew Wilson, Licensee
- Catherine Dalton,Educational Leader
- Early Bird Early Childhood & Learning Centre, Brassall
Dance and be free, The Mosaic Project, Featuring Brett Dennen
We would like to acknowledge that this film was developed and filmed on the land of the Jagera nations.