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TG's Educators are proud to wear Australia's national heritage

As part of Heal Country, TG's Child Care Wauchope Educators embrace First Nation's cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of their Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The RAP is an indigenous program that has been implemented in all of TG's centres to boost our sustainability values and help children go even further in eco and social intelligence.

They're so serious about this that they proudly wear their hearts on their sleeves (literally) with new shirts showcasing indigenous stories and journeys.

If you have been by TG's at Wauchope, you'd have seen the beautiful new shirts the Educators are wearing with a big smile.

The man behind the shirts

These new shirts were designed by Jamie Donovan, and they have been inspired by the indigenous culture of the Birpai people.

Jamie is no stranger to TG's. He has had a long relationship with TG's - his children have been experiencing Playing is Learning for Life through several centres in Wauchope. He is also the artist behind the beautiful aboriginal murals at TG's Hastings St, Wauchope. On it you can see the traditional Gathang language (from the Birpai, Warrimay and Guringay people), totems from the region as well as images drawn from everyone's connection to the country.

Jamie works as a consultant for the Department of Education where he looks after 43 public schools. Work is his passion, and beyond schools, he finds opportunities to nurture a connection with his culture and to share that with his local community and organisations.

Collaborating with TG's and designing the new shirts for the Educators is one way Jamie has been giving it back to his community and fostering connections between his indigenous culture and the people around him.

TG's Educators are wearing their new shirts with pride - they are proud to be part of TG's, proud to be part of their community and proud to acknowledge the indigenous culture and community around them.

TG´s educators with Jamie Donovan and their new shirts
Beaming with pride wearing our new shirts designed by Jamie Donovan

The story behind the shirt

For Jamie, designing a wall or a shirt is not about sitting around and waiting for an inspiration to come to him. He builds his designs on a story.

Stories are an important part of Aboriginal culture. Stories are told through yarns, dances, songs, novels and artwork. Jamie weaves a story into the design of TG´s shirts and he has chosen to tell the story of the three Centres in Wauchope connecting and sharing a journey together, and their lives in the Hastings.

Jamie incorporated the 7 Northern Birpai Totems into the design of the shirt. The 7 Totems are Guparr (Dolphin), Dinuni (Shark), Djini Djini (Crab), Makurr (3 Fish), Wambuyn (Kangaroo), Biluun (Stingray) and Gawul (Eagle). These totems provide a story of connection within the communities´ cultural boundaries and it also serves as a reminder to support and sustain our ongoing connection and survival in this country.

Colours are also important here. They are used to represent the portion of the country that is being shown in the design. The blues and purples represent the water, and the reds, oranges and greens represent the land.

If you look closely (just ask any one of our TG´s Educators - they´ll be pleased to point these out to you if you can´t spot them), you´ll see that TG´s staff and families are actually represented in the journey of this design on the sleeve. The design represents all three Centres that educate and care for our future generations. After all, TG´s is the stewardship of the children´s future! The three tracks represent everyone walking together in the journey and through growth and development. The meeting places represent the families and the centre.

What you see on the sleeve designs show that we all come together as one (Gathay Nyiirun Wakulda) to acknowledge that we pay respects to our ancestors and we sit on Birpai Country. And we are here together to take care of and protect the beautiful land our feet are walking gently on.

Weaving the first idea

Having new shirts for TG's was not some random idea the Educators came up with. And how it came about has everything to do with TG's three foundation stones and TG's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

TG's three foundation stones are:

  1. Building relationships

  2. Sharing our gifts

  3. Collective Thinking

TG's has been building a beautiful relationship with Jamie and his children over the years, so it felt only natural as part of TG´s Family that Jamie was happy to be on board with the project. Collective thinking comes naturally to TG's Educators.

On a Reconciliation Day a few years ago, a few of the Educators had tried sourcing their own indigenous shirts. It gave them the idea of having their shirts as part of TG's uniform. The Educators started talking about it across the centres and what was just a wish gradually took on flesh and became reality, thanks to Jamie sharing his artistic gifts with the Educators by designing their new shirts. TG's indigenous program includes activities that range from beach and bushy kindy to exploring indigenous art, culture, stories, music, food and it felt like the right next step to be able to wear a beautiful reminder of indigenous culture.

More than just a uniform

The shirts are more than just giving TG's Educators another uniform. They go far beyond an item of clothing.

Jamie's shirts have become wonderful conversation starters. It enables people to have an open conversation with the whole community. Wherever TG's Educators go, when they wear these beautiful shirts, be it at a random shopping centre or a local sporting event, it catches people's attention and curiosity. The designs naturally draw people in to wonder about the stories embedded in the designs.

Sketches of details of indigenous symbols on shirt
Sketches of details of indigenous symbols on shirt

In TG's itself, these shirts have become a fast favourite with the children, and the shirts get the children talking and wondering about the animals and the colours and what they mean. It enables the Educators to open up a conversation around culture and sharing stories. These all become part of the children's learning journeys at TG's.

Collaborating with Jamie to produce these beautiful shirts and having the Educators wear them with pride is one step in the right direction, supporting indigenous culture by really getting involved in it and engaging in it.

TG´s Educators thanking Jamie Donovan for his beautiful artwork:

Playing it Forward

For Jamie, he is appreciative of what TG's is doing, being supportive of his work and the local community. Having the curiosity and willingness to engage with the indigenous culture and people and sharing them with the children is a way to ensure it continues to grow.

As the children continue on their learning journeys, they will be exposed to more of indigenous cultures and the more aware each new generation is, the better it will be for all the community. It is about moving forward together, and of course, Playing it Forward together, to create understanding and awareness at an early age. It is about creating a better place now and for the future than what it was before.

Here is Jamie doing an Acknowledgement to Country:

TG's is grateful to be on a beautiful journey, supported by ancient indigenous wisdom, with the children, families, Educators and our communities.

Experience a safe, loving learning journey at TG´s that is rich in care, kindness, respect and joy. Here is where we acknowledge and celebrate every single gentle footprint each child leaves on our land, and we are a part of encouraging them to discover their gifts and achieve their fullest potential as they go through their unique milestones.

TG's Child Care locations and contact details:

Urangan QLD

+61 (07) 4184 2282 |

61 Miller St, Urangan, QLD 4655

Armidale NSW

+61 (02) 6772 7810 |

11 Samuelson Crescent, Armidale NSW 2350

Uralla NSW

+61 (02) 6778 3369 |

23B John St, Uralla NSW 2358

Wauchope - Hastings St NSW

33B Hastings St, Wauchope NSW 2446

Wauchope - High St NSW

+61 (02) 6585 3331 |

223A High St, Wauchope NSW 2446

Wauchope - Riverbreeze NSW

+61 (02) 6585 2981 |

3 Riverbreeze Drive, Wauchope NSW 2446


About TG's Child Care

As one of Australia's leading early learning Kindergarten and Long Day Care providers,

TG's Child Care is dedicated to its philosophy of “Quality Lifelong Learning, where

Playing is Learning for Life.” Children attending TG's Child Care are encouraged to

experience a love and joy of learning throughout their time there and are equipped

with skills and tools to continue their personal growth long after they’ve left. In

addition to the Urangan campus, TG's Child Care has five others in New South

Wales: in Armidale, three in Wauchope, and in Uralla.

We are at 61 Miller St, Urangan, Hervey Bay, QLD.

Telephone: (07) 4184 2282

TG's Child Care Urangan is licensed for 73 places for children 6 weeks to 6 years. We are open 52 weeks a year except for public holidays from 6.30 am to 6.30 pm.


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