MercyCare / News / MercyCare highlights importance of NAIDOC Week across Early Learning Centres

MercyCare highlights importance of NAIDOC Week across Early Learning Centres

Driven by this year’s theme, Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up, educators from across our centres came up with unique ways to highlight and pay respects to Aboriginal culture, heritage and history.

Banksia Grove

To get into the spirit of NAIDOC Week, children on the Mallee room at our MercyCare Banksia Grove Early Learning Centre came together in yarning circle to talk about their day before creating a “fire” using a tyre and tissue paper after discussing what colours they can use to bring it to life.  

They then shifted their creativity to another craft session which involved collecting paperbark that fell from surrounding trees, which were then painted and framed to hang them up on display. 


Children at our MercyCare Bassendean Early Learning Centre took part in a range of NAIDOC Week activities which helped them develop their cultural competency as well as their core developmental skills.

Our mini chefs made some scrumptious dishes such as jams and cookies which featured native spices and fruit. During the cooking session, they took part in a ‘taste test’ where they described what the native ingredients tasted like, allowing them to explore their senses as well as develop their language and communication.

Using books is a great way to explore cultures!

Some of the older children read the popular book ‘The Rainbow Serpent’, where they discussed the integral part Dreamtime stories play in Aboriginal people’s history.

To pay homage to the book, our mini Eco Warriors then created beautiful artworks, making a Rainbow Serpent using recycled paper. This activity incorporated protective behaviours, with the children allocated an emotion to each colour in the serpent where they could add pictures of these emotions next to the colour.  

To cap off a wonderful week of experiences, educators invited centre families to take part in a scavenger hunt which gave them the opportunity to learn about the history of the local Bassendean community and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.


Drawing inspiration from the artwork entitled, Native Flowers and Fruit, children at MercyCare Ballajura Early Learning Centre participated in creative group experience that explored loose parts.

The artwork is a giclee print of an original art by Yindjibarndi Elder Margaret Read, who began painting in 2017.

Inspired by this artwork, the children shared resources, and exercised their creativity and cognitive skills to explore with texture and shape to construct individual representations.

Meanwhile, children in the Koolbardi room became familiar with the colours and symbolism of the Aboriginal flag through some engaging sensory play. Using stones, beans, lentils, and flora that were sourced from the centre’s garden, this fun activity provided a textural and explorative experience that helped children connect with colour, land and native animals as they discovered the importance of NAIDOC Week.


Yarning circles have become a regular practise with children at MercyCare Heathridge Early Learning Centre and educators wanted to highlight its purpose during NAIDOC Week.

Traditionally, in Aboriginal culture yarning circles were created to be a harmonious, creative and collaborative way of communicating to encourage responsible, respectful and honest interactions between people and acts as a safe space to be heard and to respond.

Room Leader Ciara said yarning circles at Heathridge are designed to “gather the children around and share while engaging them in an Acknowledgement to Country. We also like to sing some tunes with our tapping sticks and bongo drums made out of recycled formula tins.”  

The tins often come into play when children and educators sing along to their favourite songs including Taba Naba and Inanay Capuana.

This spot has a purpose to be our meeting place to feel safe and be free spirited, happy and to engage with one another.


From creating colourful artworks, engaging in spiritual dance and learning key phrases in the Noongar language, a number of engaging activities took place at MercyCare Landsdale Early Learning Centre during NAIDOC Week.

In the babies’ room, educators read the book ‘How the Birds Got Their Colours’ which inspired them to host an art session where they recreated these wonderful birds using feathers and paints to construct a series of culturally celebratory art pieces.

A similar textural activity took place in our toddler’s room, with children using gumnuts and leaves to create unique paintings which celebrated the diversity of the centre and the local community.

In the Kindy room, children enjoyed gathering in the newly built Yarning Circle where they took part in a musical and spiritual dance and movement session.

During this session, children played musical instruments and sung along to songs that recognised and celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and also created artworks which captured this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, Get Up, Stand Up and Show Up’.

To cap off a week of engaging learning during NAIDOC Week, children learned a number of Noongar Words for native animals through the use of playdoh using stamps to create these animals as they practised the new words.