KIYA Cuddle Doll
50 CM approx
The doll's name is Kiya, which means "hello" in Noongar language.
Kiya is from Noongar country, which is in the southern corner of Western Australia.
Its boundary begins on the west coast at a point north of Jurien Bay, stretches east to a point north of Moora and then goes south-east down to the coastline between Bremer Bay and Esperance.
Noongar country is one of the largest Indigenous cultural blocks in Australia, consisting of 14 language groups.
Play School has featured Aboriginal toys before, such as Jim in 1985, who is now retired, and Dan from 2007, who is still on the show.
Kiya is a modern representation with connection to land, being a Noongar girl — this is a first.
She will be a regular on the show, joining the likes of Big Ted, Little Ted, Humpty and Jemima, along with the rest of the Play School favourites.
The story behind Kiya's creation
Kiya was created in collaboration with Play School, the ABC's Indigenous unit and Western Australian company Awe & Wonder.
Aboriginal early childhood consultant and adviser Jessica Staines and early childhood education consultant and adviser Dr Ruby Scarlet also assisted and were advisers and script outliners for Monday's special episode.
During the design process, it was decided Kiya should have a strong connection to Country and be reflective of contemporary identities that Indigenous children have today.
Kiya's community's connection to the ocean was a big part of the design process of her dress, made with fabric designed by artist Kiya Watt.
"The ocean has strong connection to Menang Noongars," Ms Watt said.
"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."