Aboriginal access

Our Aboriginal services team can provide assistance and advice on best practice with working with Aboriginal children and communities.

Engaging with Aboriginal people

Services can connect with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities by:

  • Attending local meetings to get local advice on Aboriginal education
  • Employing Aboriginal staff
  • Inviting and paying local Aboriginal community members and Elders to run workshops, do storytelling
  • Providing an environment that is culturally appropriate.

Making services culturally appropriate

A service can be made more culturally appropriate by considering the following:

  • Raising the Aboriginal flag
  • Using local Aboriginal language in welcoming signs, room names and teaching
  • Displaying local Aboriginal artwork
  • Using Aboriginal resources
  • Having staff attend Aboriginal cultural awareness training
  • Having an understanding of Aboriginal English; bidilectical teaching strategies
  • Celebrating Aboriginal culture, people and history and involving the Aboriginal community and families in organising the event.

Significant dates

Aboriginal Families as Teachers

The NSW Government's Aboriginal Families as Teachers program aims to strengthen the capacity of Aboriginal families to provide a rich home learning environment for children.

By facilitating links between early childhood services and the community, the purpose of the Aboriginal Families as Teachers program is to both support children's early learning and encourage their access to preschool. The program will help ensure that Aboriginal children participate in 600 hours of quality early childhood education in the year before they begin school.

The department will engage local organisations to deliver the program within communities across NSW, to ensure it is relevant, meaningful and useful for families.

Community based not-for-profit organisations and local councils with links to early childhood education services and experience working with Aboriginal families and with children aged 0-5 are encouraged to apply for grants to conduct the program.

Ninganah No More

Ninganah No More is an Aboriginal language program designed to increase the level of Aboriginal languages being taught in early childhood education services in NSW.

Ninganah means be quiet, and the goal of Ninganah No More is to help ensure that Aboriginal languages are no longer unheard voices in our community. The program provides an opportunity for Aboriginal culture and identity to be developed and nurtured in the earliest stage of formal education across NSW.

The program will benefit both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children. Evidence shows that learning a second language has long-term developmental benefits, including improving memory, pattern recognition, problem solving and language development.


More information

The ECED Aboriginal Services Team can provide assistance and advice on best practice to ensure the use of practical tools which support the engagement of Aboriginal children.

The team is developing programs and projects which will provide a framework of excellence to support services and providers in working with Aboriginal children, their families and communities. The framework will support the sector to provide a culturally safe learning environment where Aboriginal children can prosper and all children have the opportunity to learn the rich culture and history of First Australians.

Contact the team by email at AboriginalprogramsECED@det.nsw.edu.au.

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