Early childhood education is proven to improve the educational outcomes for children in future learning. Providing a quality early childhood program at minimal cost in the Redfern area to Aboriginal children will support improved educational and learning outcomes. Having Early Childhood qualified educators facilitating the program who are partnering with local community members/organisations will provide families with support, mentoring and resourcing.


  • To work in partnership with the ACS Committee to ensure an informed and culturally sensitive program delivery.
  • To provide a quality early learning program for children and families within the Redfern and inner city community.
  • To create a culturally safe early childhood space.
  • To provide a high-quality educational early childhood program that supports increased developmental and educational outcomes.


Aboriginal Playgroup – Offered during school terms and closed during school holidays. Providing an environment where children aged 0-6 years can access early childhood resources and activities, facilitated by Early Childhood qualified educators. The curriculum provided will be reflective of a quality early childhood program. We will be committed to ensuring that the program is culturally safe with cultural perspectives reflected in the environment. Community members will enhance the program with planning and implementation support. The program will be creative and flexible to be responsive to the needs of the Redfern and inner city community.

Playgroup Facilitators:

Pauline Weldon-BowenPlaygroup Co-ordinator – lived experience and continual connection to culture is through my father’s people, the Bidjigal clan of the Eora Nation and my mother’s Tribe, the Wiradjuri. I identify as a Wiradjuri Bidjigal woman and mother. I completed studies in Bachelor of Health Science (Hearing and Speech) and I have experience working in Aboriginal health and Disability (children’s) services. I am strongly committed to creating positive opportunities for all people but in order to make this for all, it must be done with the First Peoples of this country. Working with and for Aboriginal people is essential to addressing inter generational disadvantage, trauma and harmful cycles to create better future for all. This is my passion and my drive stems from this in hopes of creating a more positive future.

Tonilee Jacky – a proud Dunghutti and Wiradjuri women who has lived in Sydney for the last 20 years. Toni has been associated with the Marrickville and Redfern community during this time. Toni has completed her Certificate III in Early Childhood at Petersham Tafe and is an Educator at Paddington Children’s Centre.

Natalie Cordukes – Director of Paddington Children’s Centre. Paddington Children’s Centre has an exceptional reputation within the community and in the Early Childhood sector for their innovative practice and exceeding standards. Natalie holds a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood) and has over 20 years’ experience working with children aged 0-6 years. Natalie has been working with Aboriginal community and has a strong commitment to inclusion and advocacy.

The program will be enhanced with input from Elders and community members.

The playgroup name is in honour of Aunty Bid (Pauline Coe) who made significant contributions to Aboriginal children and families at the ACS. Pauline was awarded an order of Australia medal for her service to Aboriginal children in NSW. The artist of the logo is 4-year-old Oliver from Paddington Children’s Centre.

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