Little Jarjums is a Children’s Indigenous dolls and clothing line created and designed by Emily Rose, a proud Ngarabul woman born and raised on Quandamooka country (North Stradbroke Island) and mum of two.
Emily started making First Nations dolls to help her make an income to support her education studies and growing family. We believe these dolls are a perfect way to start teaching little ones about Australia’s First Nations history. Emily shares her background with us and the idea behind the creation of these beautiful dolls.
I’m a proud Korri Women from Jimiji/Ngarabul tribes. However a 4th Generation born and raised in Goompi – Dunwich on Minjerribah North Stradbroke Island, Qumdamooka country. Being the 4th Generation to grow up away from country, I longed to learn my own language dance, song and culture. I always felt that missing part in me, however I am very grateful to have grown up in a community where dance and culture is alive and feel honoured to be a part of it.
I fell pregnant with my daughter at 15 in 2019. My main goal and focus as a mum is to educate my daughter around her own culture. I started this by making her an aboriginal doll we named the doll “Capeembah” this is what the Nunukul people call the ‘fresh water spring’, that has been renamed to Myora. Connecting to my daughter’s name, Myora-Rose.
How ‘Little Jarjums’ Started
In 2021, I was meant to start my university journey into education. However, I fell pregnant again and felt the time wasn’t right to start. I was encouraged by my Aunty Delvene Cockatoo-Collins to start my own business. Making Indigenous dolls. Creating the dolls gave me something to do and was able to make a little side income to support my growing family. So ‘Little Jarjums’ was born.
Our goal is to help young children to identify culture and language through play. And I’m so grateful to now have my dolls in the Little Scholars Campuses, helping to educate all the little Jarjums-children on our First Nations people.
Emily’s dolls are being distributed to all Little Scholars campuses and will make for a beautiful addition to our rooms. The Little Jarjum’s dolls are an amazing way for children to learn about the culture, as well as a beautiful way for our educators to incorporate the Indigenous heritage into everyday learning.
Children learn a lot from their environment, which is why at Little Scholars we put effort into ensuring we offer toys, books, and music from around the world to reflect different cultures. We celebrate different cultural events, including making foods so the children can discover different flavours.
Engaging children in culturally-responsive experiences is a great way to build their self-confidence, increase their knowledge and teaches them to always accept others for who they are. Our educators play a vital role in acknowledging cultural differences and helping the children feel like they belong. If we encourage children’s understanding of differences and appreciation of diversity in all aspects of life, we set them on a path to become kind and compassionate people.
Jae, founder of Little Scholars said, “I was so excited when we found Emily-Rose to provide us with handmade local toys for our campuses. We are always looking for creative and meaningful ways to embed Indigenous culture into or curriculum and daily practise. We know the further implementation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures will enhance early learning educational outcomes. It will build on levels of cultural awareness, understanding and bring change for an education journey that children can thrive in, so these dolls are a perfect fit for our incredible educators to use for this purpose.”