KU’s Reconciliation Journey
KU Alumni Connect Autumn 2021 Edition
One of the four strategic priorities of KU’s Strategic Plan 2020-2022 is that ‘we make a positive social impact’. Each year KU reinvests our own funds to support and deliver more programs to more children and families with complex needs and we continue to work towards reconciliation with our First Nations peoples.
A significant milestone on our reconciliation journey was the development and launch of KU’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2016. This was a proud moment in KU’s history and recognised our commitment to promoting positive change for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The resulting expansion of KU’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs team has allowed KU to provide greater support to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families to access quality early education services.
Today, KU is moving on from the traditional structure of a RAP and embracing a deeper commitment to reconciliation.
With the help of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs team, last year KU successfully opened KU Ashmont Preschool and Family Centre in Wagga Wagga. The service provides a high-quality preschool program for children aged 3-6 years and offers a range of preschool age-specific early intervention and NDIS services to children with additional needs.
According to SEIFA data, Ashmont is located within an area facing some of the highest levels of disadvantage in NSW. In establishing KU Ashmont, KU is committed to ensuring the programs and services delivered there are driven by genuine community need, and as aligned to the local community culture and values as possible.
Long before opening the service, staff from KU’s other services in Wagga Wagga, as well as from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs team, began establishing relationships with locals, and gathering feedback in relation to community needs, and KU’s plans.
To further support the community, last year KU invested our own funds to employ a Community Cultural Coordinator at KU Ashmont. The Coordinator works closely with the local Aboriginal community to encourage children and families to participate in high quality mainstream preschool education and specialist paediatric early intervention services, including those offered at KU Ashmont.
The early intervention and NDIS services offered at KU Ashmont are available to children enrolled at the service, and also those in the local community.
Over the next three years, the KU Marcia Burgess Foundation is focusing support towards initiatives and programs designed to improve access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their families and carers, to early childhood education.
If you would like to support KU in delivering these initiatives and programs, consider donating to the KU Marcia Burgess Foundation.
We look forward to welcoming the current and future children and families at KU Ashmont into the KU Alumni family in years to come, as they leave KU and transition to school.