Michelle Christodoulou

Indigenous children celebrate at Early Start Discovery Space

More than 50 Indigenous children took part in cultural activities at the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Early Start Discovery Space in recognition of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Children’s Day.

The event, held on Monday 8 August, was co-hosted by Early Start Discovery Space and the Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service with the aim of celebrating the annual day and demonstrating pride in the local Indigenous community.

Children were able to take part in the interactive and creative experiences at Early Start, as well as participate in story time and craft activities with an Indigenous theme.

Marina Di Leva, Manager Business Services of Early Start Discovery Space, said the day enabled Indigenous children from throughout the region to experience the fun and excitement of the one-of-a-kind children’s museum.

“We are delighted to give families access to our unique learning environment where children and parents can interact, learn and play together,” Ms Di Leva said.

“We hope this event can be the first of many, where we work directly with not-for-profit and community organisations to facilitate access to the Early Start Discovery Space.”

Children experienced a special story time reading by players from the St George Illawarra Dragons.

A number of indigenous service providers were on hand during the day, enabling families to learn about relevant support services, including Woolyungah Indigenous Centre and Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience.

Aunty Lindy Lawlor, a respected Illawarra Elder, said the event was a wonderful way to celebrate Indigenous culture.

“This event aims to celebrate National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day in a culturally safe and appropriate manner - demonstrating pride in our local Indigenous community,” she said.

Feedback from participants was fantastic with families loving the layout of the space, the friendly atmosphere, and the variety of activities for children.