How these kindy flags are raising cultural awareness
SINGING "heads, shoulders, knees and toes," in the language of the Wakka Wakka people at kindy is only the beginning of their indigenous cultural adventure.
Kingaroy St John's Lutheran Kindergarten officially raised and dedicated three new flags at the kindy open day on Wednesday as part of their efforts to be a culturally safe place.
Student James Elliott raised the Torres Strait Islander flag, while Cherbourg elder Eric Law raised the Aboriginal flag and South Burnett Regional Councillor Terry Fleischfresser raised the Australian flag.
Kindergarten teacher Jenny Christensen approached the council for funding for the flags and received a discretionary grant of $1000 in total from four councillors.
Ms Christensen said the flags had been in use since the start of the year.
"It's been so unexpectedly rewarding the learning the children have gained from hoisting the flags every day," she said.
The children understand the right way up, the symbolism of the flags and how to treat the flags with respect.
"That's really what reconciliation is, it's starting with this generation and making sure they understand protocols and respect for different cultures," Ms Christensen said.
Mr Law said the set of flags were a clear, tangible recognition that his mob, indigenous people, and the wider community all belonged to the country of Australia.
"These young people can understand that and take it with them as they grow," he said.
The children not only hear about land rights and the Stolen Generation, but also about the National Apology and Sorry Day.
Ms Christensen said students tended to a bush tucker garden at the kindergarten which featured poles painted by a Cherbourg artist.
"The children learn how Aboriginal people look after the bush and conserve it," she said.
"They learn not just about stereotypes, but about people they'll meet in everyday life."