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

MercyCare highlights importance of Reconciliation Week across Early Learning Centres

This year, National Reconciliation Week was acknowledged in many special and unique ways across MercyCare’s Early Learning Centres.

Capturing the theme ‘be brave, make change’ our educators engaged the children in a range of activities that drew from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.


Highlighting the incredible achievements of iconic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through a series of storytelling videos was a unique and special way for MercyCare Bassendean Early Learning Centre to celebrate National Reconciliation Week.

Bassendean Centre Manager Kym Corbett said the idea to create the videos was inspired by Adam Briggs’ picture book, Our Home, Our Heartbeat, which was introduced to children at the centre a few months ago.

“Our children have loved reading this book, which is a celebration of past and present Indigenous legends, as well as emerging generations, and at its heart it honours the oldest continuous culture on earth,” Kym said.

Showcasing iconic identities including Cathy Freeman, Sir Douglas Ralph, Adam Goodes, Evonne Crawley, Lionel Rose and Archie Roach, each video ties in with this year’s Reconciliation Week theme ‘Be Brave, Make Change’ by capturing the defining moments in their lives.

To add a special touch, some of the videos are narrated by the children. 

“As an extension and to celebrate Reconciliation week, our centre pledged to be brave and advocate towards reconciliation by learning and teaching the children, families and communities about influential Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander people who have made a difference and made change,” Kym said.

“Our team worked hard and made short videos of some of the influential Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander people in Australia.”

The videos have since been shared with parents, who applauded the centre for celebrating reconciliation in a unique yet powerful way.


On National Sorry Day, the children at Heathridge Early Learning Centre stopped and reflected on the challenges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have faced.

To commemorate the day, the Children and Educators created a display of purple native Hibiscus which is the official symbol for Sorry day.

The children created paintings of the hibiscus which have been displayed on bunting across the outer fence of the centre.

This native flower, which is found widely across Australia, carries significance due to its symbolism as a ‘survivor’, while its purple colour denotes compassion and spiritual healing.


Educators in Kelmscott’s Chuditch Room took a multisensory approach to discuss and educate the children on the importance of National Reconciliation Week. 

Educators set up various hands-on learning areas that encouraged the children to explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language, art and culture. This included a ‘small world’ outback-themed play zone, a creative play space using Indigenous herb-scented play dough, a natural material loose part play area and a yarning circle.  

Following a week of activities, educators then sat down with the children to discuss what they’d like to learn more about.

“Exploring Indigenous symbols was the most popular vote among the children, which is great as it coincides with the educators pledge to incorporate more Whadjuk language into the centre,” Kelmscott Centre Manager Jana Adlam said.


Educators at Landsdale Early Learning Centre created a reconciliation ‘sea of hearts’ display.

The idea behind the sea of hearts challenge is to prompt Australians to think about what reconciliation means to them and to put it on display and share it on social media in a show of unity during Reconciliation Week.

The bright red hearts have been placed in the foyer where families, staff and children can share their personal messages of reconciliation.

Bridging the gap, celebrating indigenous culture and building respectful relationships between Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander people and the wider Australian community were among the messages written on the hearts.

“It’s amazing to see this collaborative journey we are all on together,” Landsdale Centre Manager Tammy Dodd said.