The Australian Government is investing in the English Language Learning for Indigenous Children (ELLIC) Trial. It aims to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander preschool children who are EAL/D learners to learn English in a fun and engaging way.

The ELLIC Trial is designed for preschool children in the year before fulltime schooling. It is aligned with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and informed by the Foundation year of the Australian Curriculum.

Co-design and ELLIC

The ELLIC resources

Co-design underpins the ELLIC project. In 2020, the ELLIC project team worked with the Stronger Smarter Institute and two communities to explore beliefs, values and lived experiences through co-design. This knowledge was related to language learning, preservation and support of first languages, play-based learning and preferred experiences for children in preschools and kindergartens.

We would like to acknowledge and thank the community members, parents, family members, teachers and educators from Logan and Mackay in Queensland who took part in co-design sessions. Your lived experience and wisdom are the foundation of the ELLIC program. We appreciate your generosity in sharing with us.

What did co-design in these two communities look like?

Co-design is ‘… a true meeting of ideas … it can’t be done as an extractive process.’

Jesse King, Stronger Smarter Institute


Co-design looked like this:

A collage of photos and notes on the ideal preschool year for their children though images
Educators and families created the ideal preschool year for their children though images.

And this:

Participants explored the meanings of specific words and phrases using sand as the medium.

And this:

Image of notes on paper. Mob: Taepitthiggi, Torres Strait (Malu Kiwai, Erub), Barba / Takai / Berolah / Doola / Dela Cruz / Blanco / Bond / Salam / Corrie. Land: Old Mapoon / Batavia River, Boigu, Darnley, Lockhart River. Language: speak English, TSI Creole, Exposed to KKY, Wik, Japanese, Spanish, Aboriginal Kriol, Butch. Totem: Crocodile.
Spoken languages were linked to Land, to mob and to influences from outside communities.

And this:

A group of people bushwalking.
A walk on Country takes educators into understandings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander worldviews.

Outcomes of the co-design process fed into the design of the ELLIC branding and the website.

Story of the ELLIC brand

Building block

'Knowledge of culture'

The 6-sided (hexagonal) shapes are inspired by open books. The contemporary pattern represents the diverse cultures in Australia.


'A living narrative of our country'

Songlines represent connections between Country, the knowledge of culture, places and people. They tell of the Dreaming. They reflect tracks taken across the land by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestors, and the ancestral spirits who sang the land into life.

Star and dots

'Learning in both a traditional and contemporary way'

ELLIC Star symbol

The star with eight points represents Australia’s eight states and territories (contemporary). The eight dots in a circle around a larger dot represent children being taught by an Elder (traditional). The two symbols together represent children from all states and territories learning in both a traditional and contemporary way.

Songlines together with the star symbol represent navigation by the stars, across Country, over land and waters.

ELLIC logo and branding designed by