Laurie Stewart is a community leader in Toowoomba who works with children and families in the community.
Laurie said, when he grew up, the opportunities for education and learning about culture were not available like they are now.
Today, he is a strong believer in early education, especially kindy.
‘When I went to school, as soon as we started talking about culture, we’d get the cane,’ Laurie said.
‘We learned about Captain Cook, we learned about Marco Polo but we couldn’t learn about our history.
‘We learned it from our Elders but once we got to school, that was cut off.
‘So, to see our kids being able to come to a kindy like Kulila Indigenous Kindergarten and learn culture from the word go, and keep carrying that on in school, that’s the difference from when I grew up to where we are today.
‘For children to be able to grow with culture, they won’t have to face what we had to face.
‘So kindy gets a thumbs up from me.’
Laurie said his 2 daughters went through kindy and are now succeeding at school. He said he believes all children can benefit from a year at kindy.
‘If they can start off in a good environment like kindy and break down those invisible barriers before they get there, they’ll succeed,’ he said.
‘We can bring our children in, make them feel culturally safe and the learning is continued from what we do at home.
‘You walk in and it’s like home, it’s like a yarning circle all the time, it’s bringing mob together.
‘Then when they leave on the bus, they’re all best buddies, their best mates, and that’s the environment that kindy provides.
‘Seeing all the little kids at kindy is pretty deadly, you can’t beat that.’
Your child can go to kindy in the year before they start school. Find out what year your child can start kindy using the