ECA Reconciliation Symposium – a time for reflection

ECA Reconciliation Symposium – a time for reflection

Early Childhood Australia (ECA) hosted the 2019 ECA Reconciliation Symposium in Melbourne this year. The symposium provided an important opportunity for educators supporting young children on their well-being, education and care, to engage and immerse themselves in discussions about reconciliation.

A focus of the symposium was to bring together culturally diverse perspectives with evidence-based practice and traditions to generate collaborative new thinking whilst exploring practical examples of putting reconciliation into practice.

The overarching topic for day one was What is reconciliation?’ and ‘How do we progress reconciliation?’ on day two. The days featured specialised keynote speakers, presenters and facilitators who truly understood the importance and need to share knowledge on the culture of Australia’s first people.

Acknowledging that some services and educators may experience difficulties getting to the symposium due to limited resources or long travel distances, the NSW Department of Education also supported educators to attend by providing 10 travel scholarships. These supports were provided especially for educators working in regional or remote areas in NSW or who demonstrated engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

Keynote speakers included Karen Mundine and Diana David from Reconciliation Australia and Reconciliation Victoria. They spoke respectively on ‘Race relations and the five dimensions of reconciliation in Australia’ and ‘Reconciliation in Victoria: Grassroots engagement in education, local government and community’.

Both days featured engaged services and educators learning more about the concept and practice of empowerment and social justice – and how to support Australian children to grow up learning and appreciating more about what reconciliation means today.



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