The Undoonoo Child Care Centre is located in the town of Woorabinda. Woorabinda is located in Central Queensland, 170 km south west of Rockhampton. Woorabinda is situated on the traditional lands of the Wadja Wadja/Yungulu Aboriginal people. The Council area covers 391.2km2.
In this video, Roya Yeganeh from the Queensland Council of Social Service yarns with Shannon and Nyarula from the Undoonoo Childcare Centre. The Queensland Council of Social Service assists with the professional development of educators of child care centres in remote communities through the Indigenous Professional Support Program.
Roya: Hi everyone my name is Roya Yeganeh. I'm a project officer with the Indigenous Professional Support Unit, IPSU of QCOSS, Queensland Council of Social Services. I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land I am in today and pay my respect to elders of past, present and future. I would actually like to pay my gratitude to be here today now and walk on this land, in Woorabinda. I'm here today with Nyarula, Director of Undoonoo Childcare Centre and Shannon, co-director of Undoonoo Childcare Centre. Ladies, could you please tell me a little bit about Woorabinda, and you know, where is Woorabinda in Queensland?
Shannon: Woorabinda is about 170km South-West of Rockhampton, so about two hours and we've got about, approximately one thousand people in Woorabinda
Roya: How is the climate?
Shannon: It's a nice climate I suppose, it gets hot, starting to heat up now. We'll get our rains and that and it's lovely afterwards, just green everywhere. You get to see the horses walking around no but it's lovely.
Roya: Tell us, what is it like to work as an educator in a remote childcare service?
Nyarula: Working at Undoonoo Childcare is being with the community, like if you go outside the childcare centre, everyone knows who you are. Especially for me, with my children, they love community. Just knowing parents, seeing them round the streets, and just the respect and everything, you know.
Shannon: Like Nyarula said, you know everyone and you feel safe and just comfortable. After work too you get to yarn up with them down the street. It's also good because you get to see your kids, you know your family, children, and people that you know, their children, just going through the centre and just keeping their education going
Nyarula: And it's belonging to someone, to somewhere. Children feel welcome here because they know who the staff are, because of outside community.
Roya: And what are the challenges, to be remote?
Nyarula: In remote communities I think the challenges are resources, arts and craft, just the little things like that. Because we're so far away from Rockhampton, and when we order it takes probably a couple of months just to get our order through, especially with new toys
Roya: And some advantages that a big city has, like you were talking about op shops?
Shannon: Yeah we went to a centre in Rockhampton and they've got a lot of their stuff from op shops and stuff given to them, and that's some of the stuff that we can't do. We ask parents to bring stuff in, and recycle stuff.
Roya: What are you involved in with the Indigenous Professional Support Unit?
Shannon: With the IPSU Quality Improvement Plan, it helps us identify struggles or strengths in our centre, and what we can improve on
Roya: And what is your involvement with the Indigenous Professional Support Unit?
Nyarula: Working with IPSU has created for us to have the Footsteps program, exchange - we have the department one girls come here, and then also with all of our ladies going down to Cherbourg, and then Cherbourg coming up to see our centre. That's helped us with programming, and just looking at a different way of how a service is set up. IPSU has also brought May, and yourself Roya, to do workshops, exchange of calling, emailing.
Roya: How has IPSU helped for you to change your practice for the better, improving your practice, that you have in Undoonoo Childcare Centre?
Shannon: Well IPSU has helped us with our National Quality Standards, helping us get a better understanding of it and the card here. It's got everything on the one, like going through all the cards, so it's just all there for you. And also just helping us with our QIP, they were helping us do that in a day, so yeah that was a big help.
Nyarula: And also doing workshops, coming out and doing workshops and having that connection, like an ongoing thing, and making the ladies feel comfortable. It's familiar faces, that's what we like to see, our staff are looking forward for years to come, you know all the time. Which helps improve their roles in their centre and their work with the children. Workshops with observations: May has come out and done workshops with us, with the technology, using the apps on her programs, the observations, learnings, stories, which has helped our centre a lot - thanks for that May!
Roya: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Shannon: Yes, I believe that it is good that we do have a childcare centre in our community, because we as childcare educators believe all children are unique and precious. We value and respect encourage children to learn while having fun through educational and cultural learning experiences. I've seen many kids come through here, and just watching them go through to their education at school, and just the transition with pre-prep, I do that, take them up to the school once a fortnight, yeah they love it, just to get them out in the community, just walking to the school, it's just really lovely, just getting them involved with the older kids at the school and with their community too also.
Nyarula: I think we believe too in working together as a team, the parents and if community can be involved as well, just in organising any little events, it helps the children experience through fun play.