• Noongar artist and mother of three, Kiya Watt has lent her talent and heritage to Play School for the newest toy's clothing designs. (NITV)
Play School will introduce a new toy during NAIDOC Week, who will then go on to become a full-time member of the show’s iconic toy line up.
By
Rangi Hirini

Source:
NITV News
24 Jun 2019 - 4:48 PM  UPDATED 26 Jun 2019 - 10:04 PM

ABC’s longest running children’s program, Play School, will be introducing an Indigenous doll named Kiya during NAIDOC Week on an 'Acknowledgement of Country' special.

Menang Noongar artist Kiya Watt has lent her artwork to the newest member of Play School, Awe and Wonder designed the doll and the outfits.

Overnight, Ms Watt was bombarded with messages and media requests after the newest cast member was announced by Larrakia and Tiwi woman and Play School presenter Miranda Tapsell.

“It has been an amazing and humbling experience to be able to share my mob’s story in art form and be able to have it on her dress, so it's really exciting,” Ms Watt told NITV News.

The mother of three lives on Menang country in Albany, 415 kilometres south-west of Perth, and comes from a long line of artists. 

“I started painting about 2-years ago: I definitely wanted to re-connect to my culture and embrace and preserve the cultural knowledge into my art,” she said.

“I kind of used art more as a platform to raise awareness about issues that I’m passionate about.”

ABC Indigenous reports that Ms Watts' dress design conveys a story about her people and the Mother Ocean that will be explained in the Play School NAIDOC special episode screening on July 8 on ABC ME. 

“It’s so huge to be represented and acknowledged on a nationwide children TV show and it’s so good for all the children watching to be educated and gain that acknowledge and understand that Aboriginal people we are whole but we also come from different countries and different tribes and different groups, “ said Ms Watt.

“It’s amazing that Play School is acknowledging that and to be a part of it is so great and my children are so excited to see the episode.”

Kiya or Kaya, means 'Hello' in traditional Noongar. The show’s three current Indigenous presenters, Miranda Tapsell, Luke Carroll and Hunter Page- Lochard will also be involved in Kiya’s big debut. 

Correction: NITV had previously stated Kiya Watt as the doll's designer.

SBS network is official media partner of NAIDOC 2019
NITV will broadcast the National NAIDOC Awards, as well as presenting a rich program suite of unique Indigenous stories over the week.