Caretaking: Cammeraygal land

Over the past few years, the children of Kelly’s Place have been developing a strong sense of connection and understanding toward the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags.

So much so that it has become a staple image in their artwork, their research and musings. Along with this deeper understanding came an appreciation of the land on which our centre stands, Cammeraygal Country. However, along with this acknowledgment came respect; a much deeper connection to the respect we needed to show to the land, both by us, our families and the community, as one child remarked to an educator, “I saw rubbish outside on Cammeraygal land. We should clean it.”

Hence began our five-month journey to advocating for the land on which we reside. Cammeraygal land.

Over the following months, the children wrote signs to be left on the grass area and made several trips to clean the space. This helped, but the impact still proved disappointingly small. It was through one of our many meetings to combat the problem that a child noticed there was, in fact, NO bin for people to leave their rubbish.

Research alerted the children to the fact that council were in charge of this, and so we needed to speak with them. The children, through thoughtful process and planning, engaged family, friends and community, along with their own processing skills to create a ‘pitch’ for the council. A meeting was called. The children shared their ideas, and several weeks later a bin was delivered, prompting one child to say, “Great. Now we can keep Cammeraygal land clean”, before remarking, “where should we put another one?”

Story contributed by Ben Thatcher from Kelly's Place. Published in 2019.