Yuluwirri Kids Coonabarabran Preschool and Long Day Care Centre




Aunty Maureen

Listen to Aboriginal Elder and Gamilaraay woman, Aunty Maureen Sulter, say a personal ‘Welcome to Gamilaraay Country’.



This Warrumbungle Shire Council Children’s Service is located on a busy highway in Coonabarabran, on Gamilaraay Country.  A daily focus is on the safe arrivals and departures of children and their families, so road safety education is an essential ongoing part of their program.

Take a look at how the educators implement road safety education that reflects children’s real life experiences and their local community, while respecting the diversity of families by honouring local Aboriginal language and culture.

The weekend camping journeys of many of the families at the preschool inspired educators to use dramatic play learning experiences to extend children’s road safety and water safety knowledge.Images and text







Families shared photos of their weekend adventures when they travelled safely by car, boat and when bush walking and bike riding.  Educators used these photos in dramatic play spaces to engage children in conversations about their safe travel practices. Children enjoyed sharing stories about the different types of fish they caught when fishing and yabbying in local rivers and waterholes.



Educators recognised children’s engagement in their learning and used this enthusiasm to further explore boating safety messages like the importance of always wearing a life jacket.

More information about travelling safely with children in boats is on the Roads and Maritime Services website.


Dramatic play is a powerful tool for educators to use to support young children’s developing understanding of road safety by exploring, imagining and problem solving together. Include the photos of local people, places, road signs and traffic environments in your service’s safe travel dramatic play spaces. Contact us for more ideas.


Listen to Walgan (Aunty) Maureen Sulter explain the meaning of the Gamilaraay langauge words ‘Walgan’ and ‘Garruu’.

Many of the children’s weekend bushwalk adventures with their ‘Walgans’ and ‘Garruus’ (‘Aunties’ and ‘Uncles’), including grandparents and other extended family members. Educators saw great opportunities to include families’ cultures, home languages and traditions into the children’s play. The children were encouraged to use their home Gamilaraay language, together with visual symbols, to tell stories about their safe bushwalks and cultural practices …  “We looked for spiral markings on the bushwalk to show us where to find fresh water to drink from the waterhole” (Jarrod, 4 years).


Educators practWalkaboutsymbolsised walking safely with the children through pretend ‘bush tracks’ by holding hands together. They regularly talk traffic with kids and share the Kids and Traffic Key Pedestrian Safety Message, ‘Always hold a grown-up’s hand’, to support children’s developing understanding of this safe travel practice.


Look for opportunities to incorporate home language and cultures of the children at your service when implementing road safety education. Ask families to translate the Kids and Traffic Key Road Safety Messages into their home languages to display or use in homemade story book resources. Print out the Kids and Traffic Grandparents and grandchildren out and about together safely fact sheet to distribute to parents and other extended family members in the children’s lives at your service. 


Check out ‘Yuluwirri Kids’ Safe Journeys’ story book for ideas on developing your own safe travel book based on families’ weekend activities. Use this personalised book to share the Kids and Traffic Key Road Safety Messages with families at your service.


Together with the children, families and the local Aboriginal community, educators developed the ‘Yuluwirri Kids’ Safe Journeys’ book. It includes documented stories, photos and drawings of families camping, fishing, boating, riding and travelling safely. The Kids and Traffic Key Road Safety Messages were also featured in this safe travel story book. Children’s ideas, reflections and opinions influenced the safe travel words and images in the book, fostering their sense of agency and involvement.



Ask your families about their weekend activities and encourage them to share photos of safe travel practices to extend children’s road safety learning through play and conversationsWhat forms of transport do they use – cars buses, ferries, boats or bikes? Do they take part in activities that require a helmet or other body protection, e.g. bike or horse riding, cricket, football, water skiiing? Include these to extend children’s road safety learning. 

Keith & Petas paintings (3)

‘Water Dreaming’ by Keith Hinton. Listen to Aunty Maureen Sulter describe this artwork.


Artworks of local Aboriginal artists depicting well-known Dreaming stories and places were included in the book to complement and extend the story. Educators engaged the children, families and local community to ensure the book was culturally appropriate and this strengthened home-centre partnerships.




Educators also included important messages about water safety, sun safety and healthy eating in their ‘Yuluwirri Kids’ Safe Journeys’ story book. Each family was given a smaller version of the book to read at home with their child. This enabled educators to have many valuable conversations with families about their child’s health and safety.









Follow-up programming and planning included learning experiences for the children around growing vegetables at the preschool and cooking simple healthy recipes together. Educators also used this opportunity to involve families in reviewing and updating their road safety education and sun safety policies.

To strengthen your road safety education policies and program, we encourage you to recognise the uniqueness of your local community.  Use the Kids and Traffic Safe Journeys Safe Communities Checklist  for Early Childhood Services to help you find out more about the road safety issues in your community and develop strategies to keep children and their families safer. This checklist supports the National Quality Standard and many of the principles, practices and outcomes of the EYLF. 

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