Play School to introduce Indigenous character

'Kiya' to debut in an episode with presenters Luke Carroll, Miranda Tapsell & Hunter Page-Lochard.

Play School will introduce an Indigenous character during NAIDOC Week on ABC, known as Kiya.

She will debut in a special episode, Acknowledgement of Country will celebrate Indigenous language, culture and perspectives with presenters Miranda Tapsell, Luke Carroll and Hunter Page-Lochard.

ABC will also launch a new series, Play School Art Time, and Play School Celebrity Covers plus new Play School specials.

Libbie Doherty, Head of Children’s Production said, “This year, we’re extending the Play School brand by producing unique digital content to amplify the Play School philosophy. We’ve identified key areas of focus and have collaborated with specialists to create a series of one off Play School specials.

“The first of these specials is Acknowledgement of Country launching in NAIDOC week. Get Ready For Bed will resonate with everyone struggling to get their little person to sleep and the very special, Beginnings and Endings, has been crafted to help families explain the cycle of life and the concept of death in an age appropriate way.”

Designer Kiya Watt, added, “The ocean has strong connection to Menang Noongars. The symbols and dots throughout the middle represent the strong spirit and movements of the ocean. The dark blue lines outlined with white dots show the waterholes (ngamar) where we would fish from to provide food for our families. The ocean, like boodjah (land), is our mother and we must honour and protect, and only fish enough to provide for our family.”

Introducing an Aboriginal female toy to Play School reinforces the ABC’s ongoing commitment to Indigenous culture. Kiya was created in collaboration between Play School and Western Australian company Awe & Wonder, with assistance from the ABC’s Indigenous unit. Dr Red Ruby Scarlet and Aboriginal Early Childhood consultant Jessica Staines also assisted and were advisers and script outliners for the Acknowledgement of Country episode. Kiya is from Noongar country, in the southern corner of Western Australia where the word for “hello” is “kiya”!

Play School
Acknowledgement Of Country
8 July on ABC KIDS and ABC KIDS iview
Join presenters Luke Carroll, Miranda Tapsell and Hunter Page-Lochard to give an Acknowledgment of Country in this special episode celebrating Australia’s First People. Find out about the presenters’ own country as they create a map of Australia and share how to say hello in their language. Hunter Page-Lochard wrote this special episode.

Play School Art Time
July on ABC KIDS and ABC KIDS iview
Play School Art Time is an action-packed new series that celebrates creativity, curiosity and all things arty! Set in a magical art studio, the adventurous little Art Crew join presenters Zindzi Okenyo and Matt Backer to create, explore and experience the wonders of art. From watercolour paintings to robot sculptures and everything in between! See their creations come to life in the Art Time Gallery at the end of each episode.

Beginnings and Endings
August on ABC KIDS and ABC KIDS iview
In this very special episode, Play School is celebrating new life, and also reflecting on the love we have for those who are no longer with us and have died. It’s time to play, laugh, sing and have fun, and there are also times to be sad and treasure our memories of people and pets we miss. Emma Palmer introduces us to a friend’s newborn baby (and has some exciting news herself!) and Alex Papps shares how he and his family remember his grandmother. Through stories and play, we explore ways to help children through what can be challenging times. It’s time to talk about the beginnings and endings of life on Play School.

Get Ready For Bed
October on ABC KIDS and ABC KIDS iview
It’s time to put on your PJs and wind down with this special episode of Play School where viewers follow the routine of the Play School toys as they finish their day of play and get ready for bed.

Play School Celebrity Covers
Coming Soon to ABC KIDS and ABC KIDS iview
This series of mini episodes features a much-loved line-up of Australian musicians and popular personalities who turn their hand at being a Play School presenter, performing popular songs and nursery rhymes. Featuring in the Play School Celebrity Covers are: Baker Boy, Megan Washington, The Cat Empire, Clare Bowditch, Alex the Astronaut, Sylvia Colloco and Amber Lawrence.

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