Bubup Wilam is a self-determining Aboriginal Child and Family Centre managed by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal children, families, and Community. It provides access to an integrated range of services and programs, including: early intervention and prevention programs, early years education, and health and wellbeing services.
I began teaching at Bubup Wilam in 2009 when it was a stand-alone kindergarten in Lalor, one suburb north of Thomastown. In 2012, the Centre opened at its current site in Thomastown, and between January 2012 and March 2015 I worked there as the Pedagogical Leader.
Bubup Wilam – Purpose
In partnership with families
strong proud and deadly kids
in a culturally rich and supportive
Bubup Wilam means ‘Children’s Place’ in Woi Wurrung language. The Centre is situated on the Wurundjeri land of the Kulin Nation, in Thomastown, in Melbourne’s north. It has become a Meeting Place for Aboriginal people who have settled in Melbourne from different parts of Australia.
Bubup Wilam – Vision
Children who are proud
a strong Aboriginal identity
as their foundation for
lifelong learning, health and wellbeing.
Bubup Wilam – Philosophy
‘Community Control is defined as the Aboriginal local Community having control of issues that directly affect their community, meaning that Aboriginal people must determine and control the pace, shape and manner of change and decision making at all levels. This reflects the right of Aboriginal people to self-determination in a meaningful and effective way.’ National Aboriginal Health Strategy (1989)
Bubup Wilam meaning Children’s Place in the Woi Wurrung language seeks to underpin and strengthen (our) vision through the service’s philosophy of
Instilling and strengthening
children’s strong sense of
Aboriginal identity and
personal self-esteem as
their foundation for lifelong
This equates to children, with the support of their parents and extended family,
Taking a lead responsibility in
owning and developing
engagement with others
in a confident and supported way.
I was a non-Aboriginal professional educator working within a self-determining Aboriginal Community. Every day for the five years that I worked there, my beliefs, and ways of being, my knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal history and culture, my educational philosophy and ways of teaching, were challenged. I have never stopped learning, rethinking, revisiting, and searching for ways, as a non-Aboriginal woman, to walk in step with the Aboriginal Community.
Following the announcement by the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, that the Federal government had Allocated $50 million of taxpayer money on a new monument celebrating Captain Cook’s arrival in Australia, I wrote this response.
“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that such incidents (throwing paint on statues of CC) are part of “a deeply disturbing and totalitarian campaign to not just challenge our history but to deny it and obliterate it”. Is he serious?
Spending $50 million on a ‘Captain Cook Memorial is a “deeply disturbing and totalitarian campaign” in the hands of the incumbent government which is setting, and has set the history agenda for over 230 years.
That $50m would go a long way towards ‘memorials’ to teach all Australians the history of our land in the years prior to, and since 1788. This history is being written, painted, danced and sung, by Aboriginal people, who are still living with the effects of colonisation – telling how First Nations people lived here for 60,000 years, and have survived the consequences of invasion, destruction of the environment, massacres, and the terrible effect on whole families and clans, of the stolen generations.
This government is setting its agenda for a culture war. That agenda must be challenged
Sharing Aboriginal Voices is the place on Packing for the Journey for me to share stories of our past and current history from an Aboriginal perspective.
If only our government could accept their mistakes and use money for more immediate needs, such as re-housing, education or health facilities. A statue of CC is only going to cause derision.
That’s just what I think.