ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF COUNTRY
Educators in the NSW Early Years Nature Connections Network would like to show respect and acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as Traditional Custodians of the land, waterways and skies.
We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging. On our nature walks and teachings with children, we acknowledge the land always was and always will be Aboriginal land.
THE STORY BEHIND THE WATTLE
Written by Dr Sue Elliott
The Acacia or wattle is indigenous to Australia and well known for its’ showy yellow flowers, emblematic of the green and gold national colours. There are around 1000 species of Acacia in Australia and this number reflects the rich diversity of nature play programs for children, perhaps variations on a common theme of child-directed play outdoors in natural settings. There is an Acacia species in flower across every season in Australia, this aligns with the all year round and all weathers approach to children’s outdoor programs. The wattle’s yellow flower balls are arranged in different ways in different species, but the image chosen here depicts flowers as unique individuals akin to young children.
The stages of blossoming are illustrated and we know such blossoming occurs over time in nature play programs where new challenges and discoveries inspire much learning. There are two major leaf forms among Acacia species, the phyllodinous leathery type well adapted to Australia’s arid climate and the pinnate or feathery types which are more shade tolerant. The phyllodinous type leaves could be the resilient educators, sun tolerant, so well adapted to outdoor learning environments and dispersed among the flowers scaffolding their learning.