Melbourne childcare centre replaces Santa with Sustainability Pirate

It’s that time of year again.

No, not when you get to see your colleagues make a fool out of themselves at the work Christmas drinks, but rather when pundits fall over themselves to decry the latest act that proves there is a war on Christmas.

A Melbourne childcare centre has provided one of the more unusual examples for them to get stuck into.

A Melbourne childcare centre is at the centre of controversy over the introduction of Sustainability Pirate (pictured).
A Melbourne childcare centre has stirred controversy after replacing Santa with Sustainability Pirate. Source: Sunrise

The Kensington Community Children’s Co-operative in Melbourne has replaced Santa with Sustainability Pirate for the children’s entertainment at its end-of-year party, or “celebration picnic”.

A bemused parent reportedly sent the e-mail invite to 3AW’s radio host Neil Mitchell.

“This year’s party will be a get-together picnic and fresh food swap for children and families to celebrate the end of year,” the e-mail said.

“Sustainability Pirate will be attending and we will have a Nature Treasure Hunt.”

A worker at the childcare centre confirmed the move to Yahoo News Australia but declined to answer questions about its decision.

The childcare centre’s Facebook page appears to have been removed from public view.

According to 7News, the centre said it wanted everyone to feel welcome regardless of their religious, cultural or spiritual beliefs.

The childcare operator said it chose a pirate to teach the children after it received new grants for environmental projects.

Sustainability Pirate choice outrages many

On Facebook, discussion raged about the decision. After Sunrise shared a clip discussing the news on Thursday morning, more than 2300 people commented sharing their experience and opinion.

“I work in childcare in the western suburbs, lots of different nationalities, we still celebrate Xmas ... Everyone is most respectful, staff and family members,” one person wrote.

Many others suggested children should be able to endure something that might not perfectly gel with their beliefs or cultural customs.

“Growing up in the 70s I had to sing god save our queen every Monday and stand for the raising of the flag. I didn’t know or care about the Queen ... In spite of the cringeworthy waste of time, crap that was "forced" on me, I learnt tolerance, patience, acceptance and respect for diversity of cultures and religion and politics,” another person commented. “I didn’t fight against it because this is Australia, my home, the land of the free.”

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