Honouring Nancy Barnes, nee Brumbie (1927–2012), South Australia’s first qualified Aboriginal Kindergarten Director

Kay Whitehead, Belinda MacGill, Sam Schulz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To date, the work of Aboriginal early childhood educators in the mid-twentieth century has not been widely acknowledged. Nancy Barnes, nee Brumbie (1927–2012), exemplifies the strength and tenacity of Aboriginal Australians who had to negotiate their lives and work in white institutions and a society which denied them fundamental human rights. Nancy graduated from the Adelaide Kindergarten Training College in December 1956 as the first qualified Aboriginal kindergarten director in South Australia. Following on, she was the foundation director of Ida Standley Preschool in Alice Springs (1959–1962) then the first ‘regional director’ in the Kindergarten Union of South Australia. Based on traditional archival research and analysis of public documents and Barnes’ autobiography, the article begins with her childhood and youth as a domestic servant and then explores her career, political activism, experiences of racism and lifelong commitment to addressing inequalities between Aboriginal and white Australians through education.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalAustralasian Journal of Early Childhood
Early online date26 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • gender and race
  • History of education
  • women educators

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