The Shine Bright Spring Gully Kindergarten community are celebrating the launch of three animal sculptures which have been installed to acknowledge the renaming of their kinder groups using local Indigenous language.

The kindergarten renamed their three kinder groups using the language of the Traditional Owners of our land, the Dja Dja Wurrung peoples, and commissioned local artist RawBoards to create the wooden animal sculptures with their names carved into the artwork.

The sculptures: 

·      Guwak (pronounced Gu-wa) – kookaburra 

·      Gurri (pronounced Gu-ree) – eastern grey kangaroo

·      Wila (pronounced Wi-la) – brushtail possum

The project has been made possible thanks to a $3600 grant from Fosterville Gold Mine and the kindergarten’s Parents Advisory Group have contribute more than $1600 from their fundraising efforts.

Spring Gully Kindergarten Parents Advisory Group President Emma Bourke said the kinder had focus on teaching children about Indigenous culture, with its bush kinder program integral to fostering a connection to country.

“We hope these animal sculptures will further help educate our teachers, students and families about our Indigenous cultures, and increase knowledge and use of our local Dja Dja Wurrung language,” Ms Bourke said.

Fosterville Gold Mine Senior Community Advisor Trudi Jackson said: “We are thrilled to have been able to support this project which is an important step forward in integrating First Nations’ culture and language into the education of our children and recognising the importance that indigenous culture plays in shaping our identity as Australians.”

Shine Bright CEO Suzi Sordan said: “We are so excited to launch the installation of these beautiful sculptures at Shine Bright Spring Gully Kindergarten. Embedding aboriginal perspectives has long been part of our educational program, and funds from this grant and fundraising efforts supports this further. We wish to thank our Parent Advisory Group and Fosterville Gold Mine for their contribution, as well as RawBoards for their incredible, one of a kind sculptures.”

The project has been completed with support from Djarra, Shine Bright EYM and the City of Greater Bendigo. 

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