Kiah Pre-school – means “A Beautiful Place” in Kamilaroi Language

Kiah Preschool tells their story of belonging, culture, respect and education in the Moree community.

28 June 2021
Kiah preschool

St Pius X Mission was founded in 1965 by the Roman Catholic Church and the Daughters of Charity. It was set up to make pre-school and medical services more available to the Aboriginal Community of Moree. In 1984, in line with the Catholic Church’s belief in self-management, an Aboriginal Management Committee was elected. In 1987, the centre’s name was changed to Pius X Aboriginal Corporation when official control was handed to the Aboriginal Management Committee by the Diocese of Armidale.

Moree is a part of the Kamilaroi Nation which is the fourth largest Indigenous Nation and is 129km from the Queensland Border and 628km from Sydney and has the main river, the Mehi running through town.

Kiah Pre-school’s first students started on Tuesday 14 September 1965 with Sister Brendan as their teacher. Currently we are licenced for 39 children per day, and we are very fortunate to have a bus to pick up and drop off children on the days they are enrolled to start their educational journey at our pre-school.

Kiah has 12 staff members who work different roles, hours and shifts with some of our staff being ex-students of Kiah, now they are teaching children at the pre-school.

We proudly display local artwork which has strong family connections within the community. Our children are taught by local dancers who promote our local culture through Kamilaroi language, dance and storytelling. We educate our children about how significant and important Sorry Day, Reconciliation Day, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Day, National Indigenous Literacy Day are and why we celebrate NAIDOC as a community.

Kiah focuses on the Closing the Gap initiatives - Numeracy and Literacy Education which incorporates the E.Y.L.F program. Other events we celebrate include the Easter Hat Parade, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Book Week, National Simultaneous story time, Graduation Day and Christmas, on these days, parents are given the opportunity to visit and participate with their children.

Kiah staff hold regular meetings within their rooms focusing on issues that impact our children’s learning. Over the past few years Kiah has built good relationships with staff who work at Moree Early Intervention Service, Moree Speech Department, STEPS Vison Screener, HAPEE Hearing program and we now have SSEEDS program which is Supporting Social Emotional Education Development Strategies for our children.

During the past 12 months like other pre-schools in our area, we have implemented changes which are still ongoing due to COVID-19, floods, cricket and mouse plagues.

Kiah Pre-school received 3 exceeding ratings under the National Quality Standard and overall rated Meeting National Quality Standard in 2019.

Our pre-school means a lot to the Aboriginal Community of Moree. The following words sum it up: Belonging, Culture, Language, Family, Children, Community, Knowledge, Respect, Education.

Without the dedication, caring, teamwork, and challenges from past and present staff, Kiah would not be here.

Every day has a new beginning to educate our children.

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