Over the past few months, Imaginary Leaps has been engaged in an exciting programme of creative play in partnership with the new Meerilinga Children & Family Centre, Cockburn and Kulunga Aboriginal Kindergarten, Hilton, Fremantle, Western Australia.
Funded by CANWA for the first stage and continuing next year with funding assitance from Australia Council for the Arts, the programmes focus on Professional Creative Development in 3 areas –
- Creative Development for the children and parents/caregivers involved in the interactive play sessions stimulating their imaginations and supporting the development of this kind of play in their daily lives.
- Professional Creative Development for creative director Rachel Riggs to connect with the local Aboriginal Noongar & immigrant emerging communities and learn more about cultural ways of working , researching how Imaginary leaps methodology can be adapted and refined to benefit different social groups in WA .
- Professional Creative Development for 2 local community artists Michelle Hovane and Fleur Hockey in the Imaginary Leaps methodology, and through this process to develop a training structure package unique to the early years sector here in Australia.
Currently, there is little research or development in W.A, of specialist creative provision for young children and their families, and further to this, the therapeutic potential of early arts & child led play in Indigenous communities. Imaginary Leaps does not exclude anyone for their social and cultural background in the local community.
Imaginary Leaps is passionate about the fantastic possibilities of this creative work and want to share and explore what the differences are between our past practice with family community groups in the UK and local community groups in WA.
It is also good timing with current research and understanding of the importance of early childhood initiatives, with the new Australian Early Years Learning Framework curriculum coming into practice and ten new children’s centres being developed in Perth. Essentially, this pilot programme of work has to be researched for the community early years group with the specific community early years group to share further with early year’s practitioners and artists.
Having funded time to observe and support the interactive play sessions enables Imaginary Leaps to fully review the learning processes, towards creating a new research document.
With W.A’s growing young family population and the new E.Y.L.F curriculum, the timing is right for the relatively unknown Early Years Theatre arts play experience.
Imaginary Leaps enables participants to become the artist and collaborate in creative expressive play. Every Imaginary Leaps session and programme is unique, as it reflects the creative journeys participants want to make. It enables adults to see the importance of looking and experiencing from the child’s eye view to see their world. These programmes champion early years creative theatre play and adapt the Imaginary Leaps skill set to the unique Australian cultural context.
Community Arts Network Australia www.canwa.com.au/
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.