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From Gumnuts to Buttons


From Gumnuts to buttons: a walk-through Tasmanian history from an Aboriginal perspective was Developed with funding from the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs under their Indigenous Education Strategic Initiatives Program.

“Walk in our shoes, see through our eyes and journey alongside us…” - the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.

From Gumnuts to Buttons was developed in Tasmania in 2002, by Mr Philip Kelly and the Aboriginal Education Unit of Tasmania. It is a visual and interactive simulation activity to assist participants to gain an understanding and empathy for the history of the Aboriginal community.

Discovery Early Learning Centres has two educators, Joey Williams and Kayla Cooper, who are proud Aboriginal women, trained to present Gumnuts to Buttons. They have travelled the state running the interactive training session with all Discovery team members.

The interactive sessions gave educators the opportunity to learn more about European settlement through the eyes of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

This process gave our educators a deeper understanding of Tasmania’s rich and often confronting history. These experiences equip educators with appropriate knowledge so that they are able to offer more meaningful and relevant experiences for the children in their care, embedding a culture of understanding, knowledge, pride and respect for the Australia’s first people.

Discovery is commitment to Reconciliation and, as stated by Jo Walsh the CEO, “to embedding Aboriginal history and culture in our everyday educational program and fostering a higher level of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, culture and contributions.”

Kayla Cooper

Joey Williams