Updated: Oct 6, 2021
Today, I would like to acknowledge the Yuggera people as the Traditional Custodians of the beautiful land I am standing on today. From the mountains to the river, I open my heart and my eyes as I walk this land, listening, learning and caring for Country. I want to extend this respect to Elders; past, present and emerging and to all First Nations peoples reading this post today. We are all remembered here.
* Please know that this post is not sponsored. Each blog post is based on my own experiences, opinions, and what I have been taught, and does not represent all First Nations peoples. Connecting with your local First Nations Community is always the most respectful way for you to embed First Nations content specific to your area.
In this post, I wanted to take a minute to introduce to you a really exciting journey that I will be sharing with you, on the blog and through Instagram, over the next few weeks. As you know this year's NAIDOC theme is 'Heal Country' and I think this has really hit home for a lot of us. This theme means something different to each of us but from speaking to a lot of you and I know this theme is one that you are excited to embrace in your classrooms and with your students. So, for all of term 3, my plan is to share with you some truly incredible First Nations children's books and lesson ideas to help you to easily embed this into your everyday teaching, as simply as possible but with heart and respect.
Poem: ©Miss Gibbs 2021 Template: ©Wingaru Education
So, to do this I have joined the Wingaru Education Heal Country Challenge as a part of their 'Challenge Team', which means that myself and a team of other deadly First Nations educators and allies will be sharing all of our most loved NAIDOC lessons and First Nations teaching resources with you, to make it as simple as possible for you to embed First Nations perspectives for NAIDOC week and all throughout term 3. And, I would love to invite you to join me on this journey with Wingaru and the rest of the Heal Country Challenge Team to heal Country together!
Who is Wingaru Education and why do I love them?
For anyone who doesn't know... Wingaru Education; is an Aboriginal owned and operated education company who have created a deadly as online First Nations teaching platform which houses First Nations lessons, activities, and printable resources. These are all specially made by Elders and Community, for any Australian teacher to use in their classroom and to make embedding First Nations perspectives as easy as it can be, for you.
This year, as always, Wingaru has gone above and beyond in supporting Australian teachers with this year's Heal Country Challenge. Which is why when Aunty Lesley Woodhouse (Wingaru Education CEO) asked if I would be interested in participating in their Heal Country Challenge and joining the team, I absolutely couldn't resist!
The incredible team at Wingaru, never cease to amazing me! With their resources and support for Australian teachers looking to embed First Nations perspectives; from their lessons to their Professional Development, Wingaru is truly a stand out online First Nations teacher resource and online First Nations platform, that any Australian teacher can use to respectfully embed First Nations perspectives all year round, even during lockdowns, thinking of you Sydney and Melbourne teachers!
So, what is the challenge all about and what will you get out of it?
The Heal Country Challenge is all about giving Australian teachers as much support as possible to begin your journey of embedding First Nations perspectives into your teaching in a ways that resonates with you, for NAIDOC week and all throughout term 3. It is completely FREE and there is no pressure, just support. And by support, I mean a team of First Nations teachers and allies sharing all of their lessons, activities and resources every week, with the aim of working together to help you embed First Nations perspectives into your teaching. Not to mention there will be a MASSIVE range of First Nations teaching resources as prizes up for grabs to also help you in your journey, but I will share more with you about this later.
Lets' meet the rest of the Heal Country Challenge Team
Aaron from @mr.j.learning.space who you might remember from last year's challenge and being an incredible ally.
Gorgeous Tanna from @teachingwithtanna who you may know for all of the incredible First Nations secondary resources that she shares on Instagram.
The always giving, Jordyn from @learning_to_ngangaanha who you might know for sharing a wide range of quality First Nations primary teaching resources on Instagram.
The always joyful team of Ash and Alisha from @rainbowskycreations , who you may know for their blog and their positive support for First year teachers and planning strategies for the classroom.
And of course me @missgibbsau (Instagram) who you already know.
How will I be sharing the resources for the Heal Country Challenge?
I will be sharing all of my resources and lessons in two main places, as usual; on Instagram and on my blog. The blog will look just the same. Each week, I will be sharing a new First Nations children's book, published by my favourite First Nations publishing house, Magabala Books, and all of the lessons, activities and matching resources to go along with them. Each book will link to one of these focus areas from the Wingaru Heal Country Challenge:
Understanding and Sustainable Culture
Recognising Aboriginal Knowledge
Acknowledging Australia's True History
Mother's Voice Word Wall
Some of you may have seen my Mother's Voice Word Wall that I shared with you recently. This resource will be a feature resource and a foundation in my lessons linked with the books that I will be sharing for the challenge. I will be using this to celebrate and amplify the words spoken in these books by our Elders and Community and to help you embed First Nations perspectives into your literacy programs too. You can find my Mother's Voice Word Wall in my store or you can click the image above or any of the highlighted titles.
Free planning resources
Wingaru as always, has done an incredible job creating such a huge range of free resources to help support teachers embed First Nations perspectives into their teaching this term. Here are some of the deadly resources they have created just for you!
© Wingaru Education
How do I join the challenge?
It is so easy to join the challenge and there is no pressure, it is all about encouraging each other to make small steps to embedding First Nations perspectives into your everyday teaching in a way that resonates with you and your students.
There are so many incredible prizes to be won! Honestly, if I wasn't on the team for this challenge, I would be entering non stop, because there is literally thousands of dollars worth of prizes from so many deadly as First Nations businesses and organisations. Each week there will be a different set of prizes so make sure you keep an eye out each week for what you can win.
And... there is also a massive crossword prize pack to be won, so remember to enter to win this incredible prize.
Overall, I can't wait to begin sharing my Heal Country Challenge journey with you! And, I really look forward joining you on your journey and seeing all of the incredible ways that you embed First Nations perspectives into your teaching. Don't forget to head over and join us in the Wingaru Heal Country Challenge, and join in to win some awesome prizes and become more confident in embedding First Nations perspectives, in a way that resonates with you and your students.
I want to take a minute to express how deeply grateful I am to Aunty Lesley and the entire Wingaru Education team for inviting me to be a part of the Heal Country Challenge, I am so honoured and excited to share some incredible First Nations resources for you to embed into your everyday teaching. And, I don't want to forget to say a massive thank you to the rest of the Heal Country Challenge team for joining the team too, I can't wait to work with you share our passion for First Nations education and make embedding First Nations perspectives easier for Australian teachers.
And lastly, thank you to the always incredible Magabala Books for capturing the voice of our Elders and Community for us to share with our students and learn from in respectful and meaningful ways. I am always in awe of what you do!
Share, like and comment
If you found today's post useful, please like this post and share it with your colleagues and I would love to hear your thoughts and comments below on the Heal Country Challenge. Have you joined? Are you heading over to join us? What you have embedded so far? Anything that you feel comfortable to share with me.
Do you know of a great First Nations teaching resource?
I love seeing and sharing all of the new First Nations resources that are coming out, so if you know and use a great First Nations website or resource, that I haven't mentioned or featured in a blog post before, then I would love for you to send it through to my email so I can share it with everyone else.
Want your business or resources featured?
On the flip side, if you are a First Nations business or organisation who is interested in being featured on my blog please pop over to my contact page and send me an email, I would love to hear from you.
Want to be sent FREEBIES, new blog posts, resources and updates?
Remember, to keep up to date with all of the new and exciting First Nations teaching resources, books and freebies I want to share with you, don't forget to join our Community email list to get these updates sent straight to your email.
Finally, I have truly loved sharing the Heal Country Challenge with you today and I can't wait for you to join us on this journey of Healing Country together and as always... Happy embedding!