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Miranda Tapsell introduces Kiya as the latest Play School toy in a special NAIDOC Week episode

The Top End Wedding star gets a new friend - Kiya!

By Cynthia Wang
There's a bear in there, and that bear has a new toy friend -- Kiya!
In a special episode of Play School that aired on ABC Kids, presenters Miranda Tapsell, Luke Carroll and Hunter Page-Lochard explained what it means to make an Acknowledgement of Country and shared how to say "hello" in the language of their respective mobs.
They also introduced a brand new toy -- Indigenous girl doll Kiya, whose name means "hello" in Noongar country, located in the southern corner of Western Australia.
Play School presenters introduce a brand new doll, Kiya!
No one is happier to be the first person to hold and play with Kiya than two-time TV WEEK Logie winner Miranda Tapsell, who showed off her Tiwi Island heritage in the romantic comedy Top End Wedding this year.
"The significance of it is not lost on me," Miranda tells TV WEEK as she hugs Kiya. "I know that not only will little black and brown girls have a stronger understanding of who they are and where they've come from, but the little ones that watch it will be able to grow up and have a more advanced conversation around Australia's relationship with Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders."
Unlike the other toys in Play School, "Kiya is the first doll to have a sense of place," Miranda explains, "and what children are learning is that Aboriginal identity is more nuanced than they think it is."
"Kiya is the first doll to have a sense of place!"
Artist Kiya Watt designed the fabric of the outfit worn by Kiya the doll with a nod to the ocean, which "has a strong connection to Menang Noongars", she said.
"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."
Play School airs Weekdays on ABC KIDS: 9.00am, 11.30am, 3.30pm, Weekends on ABC KIDS: 9.00am, 3.30pm.

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