29 February 2024


Planting ‘seeds’ to create common ground, is the foundation for a program forging connections between families, the environment and culture.

Little Mother Earth Caretakers, run through Junction’s Hackham Community Centre, is giving parents, carers, and children from all walks of life the chance to learn about, and explore, First Nations culture and natural resources.

Delivered by local business consultants Spirit and Unity, around 28 people have been attending the Spirit and Unity owners Maureen and Naomi believe the recent referendum and opposing views in relation to Australia Day, created opportunities to “learn from each other”

“We both understand where Australia is sitting and that makes it so important to find what binds us, rather than another division."

“The earth is everyone’s common ground,” said Maureen.

Little Mother Earth Caretakers harnesses singing, dancing, music, storytelling, painting, drawing and nature play. All materials used during the group “are straight from the earth” or recycled.

Hackham Community Centre team leader Tammy Elvin said community response to the program had been overwhelming.

“It’s really beautiful to see so many of our regular playgroup families and others who are new to our Centre, expressing interest and engaging with this program and each other,” Tammy said.

“This includes several parents and carers of Aboriginal children, who are keen to ensure they, and their kids, are able to connect or reconnect with culture, in a safe and relaxed way.”

Spirit in Unity have delivered programs at children centres, schools and school holiday programs, and a range of events drawing on their personal lived experience, research, and qualifications.

“We, one hundred per cent, know that understanding your culture – no matter what that is – is at the heart of your identity and valuing yourself in the world around you,” Naomi said. “It can really steer your whole life trajectory, your outcomes, your peace, and happiness.”

Lauren, who attends the program with her daughter Betty, 19 months, said the program was “different to other playgroups”.

“It’s very special,” Lauren said.

“I think it’s important to teach connection to culture from a young age because then it becomes a part of who they are. They are then more inclusive adults, and they can own the story of the land in a way that my generation wasn’t taught to.”

Little Mother Earth Caretakers is held each Friday during term from 9:30am until 10:30am at the Hackham Community Centre, 72 Collins Parade, Hackham. For more information, or to attend the program, ring 8392 3080.

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