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Cultural Knowledge Story

Child at the centre surrounded by kin, family and those professionals supporting learning and development, health and wellbeing.

The Cultural Knowledge Story was developed by Dr Sue Lopez Atkinson (Yorta Yorta) and Aboriginal artist Annette Sax (Taungurung). The story description and ochre artwork illustrate the VEYLDF's three elements: Learning and Development Outcomes, Practice Principles and Transitions.

Practice principles

  • Bunjil the Eagle and Waa the Crow represent Aboriginal culture and partnerships with families.
  • The waterhole symbolises reflective practice.
  • The gum leaves with their different patterns and colours represent diversity.
  • The stones underneath the leaves represent equity. They reflect the additional support put in place so that all children can achieve.
  • The child and adults standing on ‘Ochre mountain’ symbolise the high/equitable expectations we hold for children and adults.
  • The family standing on and looking out from ‘Ochre mountain’ reflects assessment for learning and development. Such assessments draw on children’s and families’ perspectives, knowledge, experiences and expectations.
  • The child and adult figures also represent partnerships with professionals.
  • The land symbol as mother earth represents the basis for respectful relationships and responsive engagement.
  • The symbols for land, water and people signify holistic and integrated approaches based on connections to Clan and Country.


  • Gum leaves as bush medicine symbolise connection to wellbeing.
  • The yam daisy represents the survival of a strong Aboriginal identity. The yam daisy was central to the diet of Aboriginal Victorians. It was almost wiped out by colonisation but has survived.
  • The family sitting under the scar trees with message stick and coolamon symbolises communication.
  • The family seated on the land also symbolises the child learning through their connection to, and involvement with, community.

Transition and Continuity of Learning

  • The river stepping stones represent children and families in transition.
  • The footprints and wheelchair marks symbolise all abilities.
  • Animal footprints show children and families walking proudly with culture in transition.