Inclusion and Reconciliation
Respected, safe, celebrated.
Indigenous inclusion and reconciliation at Guardian
Guardian Childcare & Education acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
Our Centres are part of and reflect their communities. Our learning environments and programs should reflect those diverse cultures with sensitivity, authenticity, and integrity. We are guided by the genuine relationships our teams develop with local First Nations peoples’.
Leading on creating culturally safe environments
Our teams are committed to creating a safe, nurturing, positive environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, team members and communities. We seek to provide environments where they:
- Feel comfortable being themselves.
- Feel comfortable expressing their culture, including their spiritual and belief systems.
- Have educators and colleagues who respect and encourage their sense of self and identity.
Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and heritage is key to the identity of the First Nations children and team members who attend our centres. Through our curriculum with children and Guardian mindsets with our teams, we seek to support a broader understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity by:
- Making connections and building relationships with local First Nations peoples’.
- Seeking advice, research, consultation and appropriate permissions in line with local First Nations community protocols and practices.
- Professional learning that supports incorporating First Nations perspectives.
- Sensitively and thoughtfully acknowledging local First Nations languages, symbols and places.
Being able to express their culture makes First Nations peoples’ stronger and safer. Our educators encourage and actively support a child’s ability to express their culture and enjoy their cultural rights. This includes initiatives and practices such as:
- Culturally responsive experiences that support connection to Country and caring for Country.
- Including images of contemporary Indigenous learning environments, photos, books, storytelling and connections with community.
- Using ethically sourced and authentic materials and resources, including appropriately acknowledged First Nations artwork or resources.
- Incorporating First Nations storytelling and books in our Joy of Reading program.
- Respectfully recognising days of significance and the perspective of First Nations peoples’, such as National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC week.
Ensure that racism is not tolerated
We will address any instances of racism with appropriate consequences.
We actively support and facilitate participation and inclusion within our centres service by First Nations children, team members and communities.
We will ensure all policies, procedures, systems and processes together create a culturally safe and inclusive environment and meet the needs of our First Nations children, team members and communities.
We seek to combat racism by educating current and future generations on the cultures and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and building awareness of Australia’s past and present.
Reconciliation Action Plans
Our goal is for each of our Centres to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in collaboration with their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. A RAP is a formal commitment to reconciliation. It shows how our teams will strengthen relationships and create opportunities in our learning environments to foster knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions.
The annual Aspires Awards celebrates the best of Guardian – our people and their contribution to the learning and growth of young children. The Reconciliation Award, introduced in 2023, recognises and celebrates the team who has promoted, implemented and embedded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reconciliation initiatives.
This team values indigenous cultural connection and has experiences and/or programs that authentically connect their centre community with local First Nations peoples’. They have commenced a journey of real and lasting positive change based on reflection, cultural understanding, respect, and improvement.