Local groups share in funding to connect community to culture

Port Stephen

Five local community groups will share in $26,712 under Port Stephens Council’s Aboriginal Projects Grants to empower the Aboriginal community.

Sarah with children teaching them a game

Sarah Corrigan from Rainbow Crow running the Wayapa Program with Salamander Childcare Centre.

Mayor Ryan Palmer said successful projects range from connecting children to country, the creation of digital resources and keeping culture alive through song, dance, art and products.

“Council enjoys a strong relationship with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, collaborating on a range of projects which promote understanding of Aboriginal culture and celebrates their contribution to our community,” Mayor Palmer said.

“In 2002, we established The Aboriginal Projects Fund on the recommendation of our Aboriginal Strategic Committee, which has been a huge success.

“We’re proud to support community groups and schools through the Aboriginal Projects Fund to continue to empower the Aboriginal community in Port Stephens through the delivery of programs, events and other activities.

“I was so excited to see these 5 projects come to life thanks to the vision of these organisations,” he added.

Salamander Childcare Centre has been granted $5,000 to run the Wayapa Program, engaging Sarah Corrigan from Rainbow Crow to run sessions focussing on connecting children to Country through movement, stories and walks.

Salamander Childcare Centre Director Daniel Freeman said that by having Sarah at the centre, they’ve enhanced their curriculum.

“This program is helping to embed Aboriginal perspectives into the learning projects the children are already undertaking.

“Sarah uses the children’s interests to help to create authentic opportunities to learn about culture in context, widening our perspectives and practices, closing the gap and working towards reconciliation.

“It’s important for us that cultural education isn’t presented through only structured group times that take them away from the context of what they do best, which is play.

“Thanks to the Aboriginal Projects Funding, we can continue to have Sarah be a part of our day, join in with our curriculums, and play alongside children, who are connecting with culture in meaningful ways,” Mr Freeman added.

Other recipients include Seaham Preschool ($3,712), Anna Bay Public School ($6,000), Midnight Dreaming Studio ($6,000) and Captial Chemist Raymond Terrace ($6,000).

The Aboriginal Projects Fund 2022-23 recipients are:

Seaham Pre-school: Connecting to CultureThe project aims to increase the children’s, families and educators’ knowledge and understanding of Worimi culture through learning sessions with Murrook Culture Centre. The sessions will share with dance, language, art, song, traditions, food, culture and history.


Anna Bay Public School: Supportive safe space for Aboriginal studentsIn partnership with Aboriginal students and families, the project aims to transform a designated room into an environment that connects students to culture and provides a safe space where children feel their cultural identity is supported. The space will create a welcoming environment for community and their cultural group to meet with cultural educators.


Midnight Dreaming Studio: Midnight Dreaming Creative ShowcaseThis project will help the Aboriginal Community through providing digital resources to keep culture alive and strong through song lines, stories, dance, art and products. The project will include working with a wide range of students in the Midnight Dreaming Studio dance and school program building sustainable Aboriginal dance programs into schools. The project will fund the purchase of an iPad Pro and a professional digital camcorder to allow the creation of digital cultural pieces.


Capital Chemist Raymond Terrace: Aboriginal artwork for shop entranceCapital Chemist Raymond Terrace are working in partnership with Wahroonga Aboriginal Corporation and Awabakal Medical Service to deliver a health program where visiting Allied Health services utilise the chemist’s consulting rooms free of charge. This project will fund the creation of Aboriginal artwork at the entrance to create a safe and welcoming cultural space for Aboriginal clients.


Salamander Childcare Centre: Wayapa ProgramThe project proposes to engage the services of Sarah Corrigan from Rainbow Crow Cultural Collective to run weekly sessions with multiple groups of children at the centre. The Wayapa Program focusses on connecting children to Country through movement, stories and walks. The program will also focus on the wellbeing of all children.


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