Child Australia acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we have gathered on. We pay respects to the Elders past, present and emerging, for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and hopes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the nation.

Table of Contents

About Child Australia

Chairperson & CEO’s Message

Our Governing Board

Our Management

Our Impact 2019

Professional Learning & Support

Strategic Partnerships

Collective Impact Advisory Groups

Children, Families and Community

Financial Performance 2019

Child Australia Supporters

Mission, Vision & Values

Our Mission

To develop the capacity of the early childhood education and care sector, families and the community to support children’s wellbeing, learning and development.

Our Vision

We have a vision of a community where children grow, thrive and reach their full potential.

Our Values

We are honest, trustworthy and accountable. We take responsibility for our actions. We do the right thing each time we face a difficult decision. We learn from our mistakes.

We treat each person as we expect to be treated. We value diversity. We communicate openly, uphold professional boundaries, maintain relationships and keep confidentiality. We look after our shared resources and property.

We acknowledge and celebrate the efforts and achievements of our staff.

We work together on common goals and look for opportunities to work collaboratively and in partnership with others. We appreciate the value of multiple perspectives and diverse expertise.

We are determined and complete what we set out to do. We follow through on decisions and promises – we do what we say.

We look for the best solution. We think outside the box and challenge ourselves to do things differently. We take responsible risks and continuously improve our services and practices.

About Child Australia

Child Inclusive Learning and Development Australia (Child Australia) is a leading not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving outcomes for children. We aim to achieve this through professional education, the provision of early and middle childhood services, community and family supports, and sector advocacy.

As an organisation at the forefront of supporting early and middle years’ development, we actively pursue opportunities to collaborate with other agencies in the provision of early and middle childhood programs, research, and services across Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Our extensive on-ground presence is reflected in our diverse portfolio of programs which span metropolitan, regional and remote locations and include;

Early Learning Centres
Out of School Hours Care
Mobile Children’s Service
Parent Support
Professional Services

This broad reach has enabled us to grow into an organisation known for leading the way in early and middle years’ development and supporting educators and families. With humble beginnings in 1987 (known then as the Resource Unit for Children with Special Needs or RUCSN) with an original objective to include children with disabilities into child care services, we have grown significantly to now offer a wide range of programs and services to improve outcomes for all children. In November 2008, the expansion and evolution of our programs and services led to our name change to Child Inclusive Learning and Development Australia (Child Australia).

With a highly skilled workforce, our practice is guided by evidence based research from contemporary early and middle childhood education and care thinkers. By providing innovative professional development and supports to the sector, we aim to facilitate the development of nurturing and stimulating early and middle childhood learning environments and support families in helping their children thrive.

Child Australia advocates for every child to have the chance to reach their full potential, understanding the correlation between quality programs and services and the achievement of positive long term outcomes for children, families and the broader community.

Message from our Chairperson & CEO

Dr Karen Murcia
Dr Karen MurciaChairperson
Child Australia
Tina Holtom
Tina HoltomCEO
Child Australia

Our mission is to develop the capacity of the early childhood education and care sector, families and the community to support children’s well-being, learning and development.

2018-19 has been a year of transformation, evolution, and growth at Child Australia.

Firstly, we would like to thank the people in our organisation. It is these dedicated people that make an impact, and have built capacity in Child Australia so it can be the thriving organisation it is today. Our people are passionate professionals that embody a selfless culture, delivering on our mission and championing our values every day. Their commitment to children, families, and communities, is outstanding and commendable. Thank you to each of you.

Our journey over the last 12 months has seen the organisation grow from strength to strength. We have developed a deep understanding of how we must constantly transform in order to meet the realities and needs of our key stakeholders – the children, their families, and the many dedicated practitioners supporting them. Being an agile organisation with empowered people and innovative practices means that we have been able to see and do things differently. There are so many layers of complexity to the work we do, and we must be ever-reflective and responsive in an environment that is constantly shifting.

We are fortunate to have a stable and well experienced Board who voluntarily commit many hours of their time to the organisation. We have engaged two new Board members this year, ensuring we refresh and extended the expertise brought to the organisation. The Board continues to support our Senior Leadership Team who have focused their efforts on creating a stable, robust foundation that provides the organisation with the ability to adapt to challenges and opportunities, while capitalising on the organisations dynamic capabilities.

In the last 2 years, we have reshaped our organisation’s financial position, turning it around from a significant consolidated loss to a small profit this financial year. Our organisational resilience and financial stability have positioned us well for future growth opportunities. Our Board and Senior Executive Team have worked collaboratively to set a strategic direction that capitalises on the great work done to date and takes us to the next level of professionalisation in the sector.

We continue to deliver and expand the high-quality programs and services offered to children, their families, and surrounding communities throughout Western Australia and the Northern Territory. This financial year we have expanded our service delivery model by increasing our provision of after-school programs on various school sites throughout the Northern Territory. In addition, we also established a new state of the art Early Learning Centre in Harrisdale Western Australia – made possible by an innovative, values aligned partnership model. We also increased our capacity at many of our existing early learning centres and after school care programs due to overwhelming family demand, meaning more children and their families are now enjoying the nurturing environments and quality learning opportunities offered by our outstanding educators

We celebrate our relationships with funders and strategic partners that continue to support our organisation. As leaders in the provision of professional development for the sector, we were thrilled to be formally acknowledged by the Northern Territory Government with a 5 year partnership agreement allowing Child Australia to provide high-quality support and learning opportunities to Educators, Directors and their Committees. We look forward to working collaboratively to achieve a much broader impact in 2020.

The focus for the next 12 months at Child Australia is for continuous improvement and meaningful growth. We have nurtured a culture of thought-leadership, innovation, and agility, and this has seen our organisation shift boundaries and broaden mind-sets. We continue to advocate for the sector and challenge the status quo, because we deeply believe that if we want to see improved outcomes for children, then we must continually strive for best practice across every aspect of our work.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

– Albert Einstein

Finally, we thank our funders, strategic partners, collaborators and friends of Child Australia, of which there are many. We appreciate your support, respect your guidance, and celebrate our collaborative steps towards improving outcomes for our children. This year has been a successful and rewarding time at Child Australia and we look forward to reaching new heights in 2020.

Dr Karen Murcia
Child Australia

Tina Holtom
Chief Executive Officer
Child Australia

Our Governing Board

Dr Karen Murcia
Dr Karen MurciaChairperson
Dr Karen Murcia is a senior member of the Curtin University teacher…
Prof. Elaine Pavlos
Prof. Elaine PavlosVice Chairperson
Prof. Elaine is a Registered Nurse and Midwife. She has a wealth of working…
David Ansell
David AnsellBoard Member
David is the Co-Director, Policy at Colab (a partnership between Telethon Kids…
Helen Creed
Helen CreedBoard Member
Helen brings a wealth of experience to the Board from both the early childhood…
Jason Hughes
Jason HughesBoard Member
Jason is a partner of international accounting firm KPMG and an…
Partha Nag
Partha NagBoard Member
Partha, MAICD, CPA, is the Executive Director and co-founder of Strategic…
Liz Humphry
Liz HumphryBoard Member
Liz is Special Counsel at Clayton Utz and practises commercial and corporate law…
Steph Shorter
Steph ShorterBoard Member
Steph works in the Strategy and Transformation Division within…
Craig Stewart
Craig StewartBoard Member
Craig is currently a Director at the Department of Communities…

Our Management

Tina Holtom
Tina HoltomChief Executive Officer
Tina has worked in various senior positions within the Education and Child Development sectors for more than 20 years. Tina is a strategic leader dedicated to innovation and continuous…
Sara Hinchley
Sara HinchleyGeneral Manager
Sara has worked with Child Australia since 2006 as the General Manager her role oversees the Service Delivery and Programs located throughout Western Australia and the Northern Territory…
Maria Miller
Maria MillerCorporate Services
Maria is a highly experienced finance manager with particular expertise in the not-for-profit and childcare sectors. Maria’s role at Child Australia is to provide financial expertise and…

Our Impact

0 Plus+
NUMBER OF children we reach weekly in Centres and Programs
OF PARENTS with children in our SERVICES recommends us to family and friends!
OF Child Australia staff identify as Indigenous
0% Plus+
OF CLIENTS that we support with onsite consultancy have achieved a rating of Exceeding
OF PARENTS feel welcome and included at our SERVICES!
0 Plus+
INDIGENOUS Communities supported onsite
NUMBER OF Staff employed by Child Australia
0 Hours+
ONSITE consulting and workshops presented
0 Plus+
ONLINE WEBINAR attendees from across the country

Professional Learning & Support

Hans Boehm
Hans BoehmDirector of Professional Learning (WA)

“2018/19 delivered a steady stream of training requests, particularly for compliance based content…”

2018/19 delivered a steady stream of training requests, particularly for compliance-based content to assist educators to be aware of the requirements of child protection law. There was notable growth through the year in providing support for effective supervision as well as challenging behaviours. The Family Day Care sector continued to seek consultancy support to explain compliance matters to educators and refreshment for educators of their compliance with Family Law, which have been linked to new scheme approval conditions.

Through the year the sector further embraced the use of technology with our video conferencing delivery options for professional development workshops becoming more popular. This option enables Child Australia to offer its expertise without the additional costs associated with travel to regional, remote and interstate locations. Child Australia successfully provided a number of sessions to Eastern State providers, and those in remote and regional locations of WA. Feedback has been very positive and enables the access the talents of our consultant team.

Our position as a Professional Consultancy supplier continued to be realised with a number of large projects associated with Quality Area 7 in governance and systems to;

Develop new service business plans
Inform and guide applications for approved provider and service approvals
Review service operation, educator practice and make recommendations
Review, modify and create policy and procedure manuals
Review, modify and create staff procedure manuals and parent handbooks

Child Australia continue to promote this area of expertise along with on-floor coaching of educators. Creating a trusted embedded relationship as an advisor, Child Australia are more aptly positioned to troubleshoot the underlying barriers to quality. Child Australia are able to better identify the true issues impeding quality, while forming knowledge to deliver the best methods of support unique to that service to bring a genuine and solid commitment to quality improvement that recognises the strengths of the staff team.

Accredited Training NT has grown from strength to strength through 2018/2019 with one Diploma completion and five Certificate III students completing their course, four of which swiftly moved into the Diploma group. Child Australia is privileged to see first-hand how their face to face training, passion and drive has positively impacted on the services and high-quality care of the students and ultimately children’s holistic learning opportunities and goals.

Child Australia welcomed seven new Certificate III students with seven continuing, nearing the end of their course. Seven new Diploma students have joined the group of 11 continuing with six of those at the tail end of their course excited about what the future looks like for them. Child Australia’s Accredited Training method of delivery is unique in the Territory as relationships and enjoying learning and networking together with a shared commitment to the early years at the centre of what they do. They believe in the importance of the journey and being in the moment with each learning experience throughout each course enhancing their abilities to critically reflect on their strengths and areas for improvement while sharing ideas to get the most out of each subject/topic. Child Australia’s learning and delivery does not start in the classroom and end with an assignment, it is a shared community on a journey towards a better future for our children as lifelong learners and to be the best role models they can be by being informed, educated and passionate Early Childhood Professionals.

As Child Australia’s Accredited Training team grows and the partnerships in the community strengthen, they look forward to 2019/2020 being another busy year engaging with services around the NT. They are confident in their high-quality method of delivery, resources and commitment to professional development. As Child Australia Accredited Training aims to match this year’s cohort of students with a holistic learning and development approach for each student, they are strong in their focus in putting theory into practice. As trainers, they support their students by ensuring consistent ongoing communication and regularly observe each student in the workplace to assist in supporting them to implement their knowledge into practice within their service. This enables Child Australia’s students to grow and be confident in their role in ‘enriching children’s lives’.

Early Years Rewarding Career students in Nhulunbuy are making slow but steady progress with their study. Child Australia trainers have enjoyed working closely with the teachers at Yirrkala preschool and with the team at Family as First Teachers (FaFT) who generously include them in their play sessions and to observe their work. This partnership assists the students to make meaning of what they are learning and to practice their skills within their community and cultural context. Nhulunbuy and East Arnhem Early learning Centre continue to support the students for their professional placement and are enjoying professional conversations with trainers utilising Child Australia’s presence to engage in professional development for their educators. Child Australia have a locally based student mentor who supports the students with language and literacy in the classroom during and in between block weeks with their study and workbook assessments

Early Year Rewarding Career students in Alice Springs are progressing well. Stakeholders have worked together closely to provide support to students; these partnerships are paramount to the individual success of students. Child Australia are thankful to the Larapinta Child & Family Centre for the use of their training room and amenities. The generous contribution of local Early Learning Centre’s providing professional placement is important as students engage in service operations to develop new skills and embed learning. Students make the most of study blocks and the support provided by Child Australia trainers.

Early Years Rewarding Career students in Katherine are progressing slowly through their studies. Child Australia continues to develop working relationships with Katherine-based Early Learning Centres who are providing the students with placement opportunities.

Through the partnership that Child Australia has with GTNT the trainers are provided with the resources needed to ensure quality training and facilitation is implemented and continually reviewed for improvement.

Noting the less than ideal setups for inservice workshops Child Australia delivers in, they introduced the NearPOD facilitation platform. NearPOD was developed originally for classrooms, the platform allows facilitators to present content and innovative engagement activities to attendees’ personal devices. This means facilitators do not have to carry presentation equipment, while reducing the need for printed handouts as all content is delivered electronically. This has reduced the estimated 500 sheets of paper (equivalent to an entire tree) that is usually handed out to attendees at each sessions

The platform allows attendees to participate in game-like engagement activities with quizzes, collaboration sessions, matching pairs, videos and drawing activities that are fun and interactive. A detailed report on participation and input provided by the attendee is made available to the service which informs their Quality Improvement Plan.

Generally I do not enjoy many courses. This one was great. I really enjoyed the interaction and the fact it could all be recorded on the iPad. Congratulations, I didn’t yawn once

– Melanie

Thank you for an excellent PD, loved the use of the app too, it kept people engaged

– Vicki, Chuckles Childcare

The strong demand for support to assist educators with challenging behaviours and trauma practices has also been a growing need of families. Child Australia has been excited to act on the Northern Territory Department of Education’s interest in offering this opportunity more broadly to other schools within 2019. Parenting education is growing and to continue our vision of better outcomes for children we hosted two events in the year.

Tina Holtom our CEO presented to over 180 parents and educators in October at the Wanguri Primary School in Darwin. The presentation brought to life the neuroscience of a child’s mind as it relates to self-regulation and ultimately behaviour. The strong attendance made for a popular question and answer session, where many parents were able to share their own unique challenges and learn about more effective strategies.

Child Australia were proud to have our resident parenting expert, Clare Orange deliver a masterclass in November to over 200 attendees in supporting childrens’ wellbeing particularly in developing relationships with peers and dealing with bullying.

The event targeted at parents as well as educators was a huge success. The 2-hour workshop at St John Bosco providing practical techniques to help guide children through their big and often scary emotions.

The workshop was great! A good mix between science and language adaptation so everyone can understand the down to earth examples. The Q&A at the end was great – gave everyone a chance to get some mini advice on difficult behaviour.

– Pam, Attendee

Child Australia’s bus tours of exceeding centres in WA have always been popular with the event sold out in only a few days. During the year Child Australia took a new approach to support newly qualified early childhood educators in their new careers.

This took place in December 2018 and February 2019 with Kingston College to celebrate the achievement of graduates of its Diploma in Children Services course with a full day tour of long day services we work with.

Child Australia take this opportunity to thank these services in making this happen;

Little Peoples Place Mt Lawley
Child Australia Lockridge
Saranna Early Childhood
Midvale Early Childhood & Parenting Centre

Child Australia, in partnership with the Northern Territory Government, proudly delivered the 2018 Northern Territory Children’s Learning and Development Conference at the Darwin Convention Centre, better known as ‘Little People Big Dreams’ on 13 October.

The Conference was opened by Minister for Education, The Hon Selena Uibo MLA, with special guest Vicki Baylis, Chief Executive Northern Territory Department of Education.

With approximately 250 delegates in attendance in 2019, the Conference is the largest gathering in the Northern Territory of thought leaders, educators, teachers, academics, health professionals, policy makers, and other critically important practitioners and contributors in childhood learning and development.

From newcomers to the field, to experienced professionals, the Conference was a great opportunity to interact with colleagues from across the NT and help advance our shared work on behalf of children during their most critical period of learning and development.

The Conference provided a range of national and local presentations that highlighted innovation, the latest research and best practice.  Keynotes included Professor Caroline Fewster, Susan Pascoe AM, Lisa Bryant, Liam McNicholas and Leanne Gibbs.

A further twenty concurrent presentations were conducted by many professional associates throughout the sector, providing a large variety of content to align with our key themes;

Learning in Practice
Curriculum & Pedagogy
Health & Wellbeing
Workforce Development
Family & Community Development

With several educators attending from each service, this enabled delegates to decide which sessions each would attend to not only support their own professional development but also which sessions were in the best interest to enhance their service’s performance.

Great variety of content that was relevant to the changes in the early years, very informative information provided.

Feel so motivated after attending!

I really enjoyed the two keynotes in the middle session and my workshops with Caroline Fewster and Sarah from Murraya. They were all very informative and full of practical and important advice that I will definitely put to use.

There was a good variety of content for the different levels of people working in the industry.

I got some important insights which are helpful in my field of work.

The 2019 Early Childhood Learning and Development Conference continues to be Western Australia’s most anticipated event by all those that work with children across a range of professions.

From newcomers to experienced professionals, the Conference held at the Crown Perth was a great opportunity to help advance our collaborative efforts on behalf of children during their most critical period of learning and development. We see the child as one being thus the knowledge presented looked at the holistic view of the child, not only in care but more importantly the learning and development of children.

Early Childhood Learning & Development Conference 2019 – Pre-Events at Curtin University

Leading up to the 2 days at Crown Perth, the conference extended its influence over a number of pre-events that enabled Child Australia to offer a wider platform of change to a wider audience. These events proved highly popular with academia, parents, families as well as educators.

Thanks to Curtin University for donating its world-class venues to help make these events happen.

Dr Justin Coulson – Parenting Forum 10 Things Every Parent needs to know: Sponsored by Playgroup WA Inc, Catholic School Parents WA, CoLab for Kids (Telethon Kids Institute) and Goodstart Early Learning
Dr Lou Cozolino – Practitioner Masterclass Childhood Trauma: Strategies & Interventions
Dr Justin Coulson – Practitioner Masterclass The Practitioners Guide to Wellbeing
Peter Hutton- Practitioner Masterclass The Case for Change and the Future of Education
Liam McNicholas – Road to Excellence Bus Tour & Workshop Documentation & Planning: A practice-based approach to Quality Area 1

Thanks to Canning Vale Pre Kindy, Child Australia Harrisdale and Sacred Heart School Thornlie for opening their doors in the ECLD19 Road to Excellence Bus Tour.

Early Childhood Learning & Development Conference 2019 – Crown Perth

Keynote speakers, delegates and exhibitors from around the world gathered for this 2-day mega-event in March 2019 to help provide all early childhood professionals with innovative, practical and translatable ways of working with children across a range of settings.

The Conference helped to unravel the latest research on best practice methodologies, encourage critical reflective thinking and provide a showcase of professional development resources and technology products. This was highlighted by the high profile experts involved not only at the conference event but also in pre-conference activities;

Dr Nat Kendall-Taylor
Dr Louis Cozolino
Professor Caroline Fewster
Mr Peter Hutton
Dr Sandra Hesterman
Dr Justin Coulson

Day One

Day One of the conference was opened by Mr Colin Pettit, Commissioner of Children and Young People after Welcome to Country by Mr Barry McGuire. The opening keynote was by Dr Nat Kendall-Taylor.

Dr Nat Kendall-Taylor of Frameworks Institute opened our minds to the remarkable approaches of framing. Dr Kendall-Taylor’s presentation, Common Culture & The Power Of Shared Frames covered off learnings that have been developed to offer empirical guidance on what to say, how to say it, and what to leave unsaid. Positioning language in a more precise way set the path for professionals as to how we communicate the important work we do.

Following concurrent sessions, the next keynote from Dr Louis Cozolino with Shaping the Social Brain: How Relationships Become Flesh. His knowledge of neuroscience and the wisdom of practice experience helped us consider what it means to be human. He explained the development and organisation of the heathy brain and unhealthy brain, while exploring how common problems such as anxiety, trauma, and co-dependency affects children’s brains applied to everyday experiences and practices.

Day one closed with the infamous Professor Caroline Fewster with Thinking Differently About Everyday Practice: From Ordinary To Extraordinary, an entertaining and high spirited presentation of the practical examples of practice through her experiences in consulting with childhood services. She shared insights to environments, routines and how to hints on experiential learning. As always her wrap up using music and getting the audience up and dancing made for a fabulous positive and united finish for delegates.

Day Two

Day Two of the conference began with a thought provoking keynote address by Mr Peter Hutton called Leading the EdRevolution In Your ELC, School, Classroom Or System.

Peter shared his inspirational revolution of real education in his role as Principal of Templestowe College, from which he took a struggling school destined for closure to be one of the most innovative and respected schools in the country. Peter shared his own journey and reflection of how many schools are their own worst enemies when innovation is concerned. His story of empowering students to take control of their own learning, examples of students coming in early to support infrastructure of the school was amazing and set the scene that as educators making a positive difference is possible if we think differently, challenging the systems we ultimately just accept.

Delegates also heard from the Honorary Simone McGurk MLA BA, Minister for Child Protection; Women’s Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services and the recently appointed Director General for the Department of Education, Ms Lisa Rodgers.

Dr Justin Coulson lead the second keynote of the day with Force Creates Resistance: Constructively Approaching Difficult Conversations, his positive and compassionate presentation to the delegates flipped our thinking to understand children better to be able to genuinely support their needs. One such theme was his knowledge on how to approach difficult discussions by acknowledging children’s feelings when they want something which is not possible, through connecting with them and giving them what they want in a fantasy discussion. This reinforces connection by showing understanding and letting the child know they have been heard. It also shows that the world sometime feels unfair but most of all it is safe. Dr Coulson left the audience with new a suite of new knowledge and simple reminders like; is this Helpful or is this Hurtful, as well as the anatomy of an argument in dealing with conflicts through reflections of What they did?, How you felt?, What you did? and How they felt?

Our closing panel discussion on the Dispelling the Myths Panel Question and Answer featured conference speaker Liam McNicholas, Natalie Gulberti from the Education and Care Regulatory Unit (ECRU), Rosemary Cahill of Department of Education and Sara Hinchley of Child Australia. The audience shared answers to procedural compliance related matters but found a groundswell of support for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and support from government for the provision of professional learning in regional areas similar to past professional support programs.

In a surprise appearance by Professor Caroline Fewster for the close, the pumping tune of You’re The Voice by John Farnham not only got everyone on their feet standing and dancing in a conga line, it also resonated with the feelings of delegates that they are the voice for their profession, that they have the passion and now further knowledge to make significant changes to the lives of children.

Strategic Partnerships NT & WA

Northern Territory

Child Australia was represented at various Leadership Groups for Collective Impact – Bagot Deadly 20, and Palmerston Grow Well Live Well (GWLW). GWLW is in the mature stages of implementation and was successful in seeking funding to operate as the secretariat. Child Australia is a member of the Leadership Group and the Action Groups which provides opportunity for access into service delivery.

Group Training Northern Territory (GTNT): GTNT is a not for profit registered training organisation providing nationally recognised accredited training. GTNT has grown to be the largest employer of Apprentices and Trainees in the Northern Territory.

Child Australia and GTNT established a working partnership last financial year and this has delivered immense gains particularly in contributing towards quality workforce development in the education and care sector.

This successful alignment has seen Child Australia deliver the Certificate III and Diploma in Early Childhood Education Services in Darwin, Alice Springs and Nhulunbuy. The demand for Accredited Training continues to grow.

Child Australia continue the focus in building, developing and nurturing our collaborative partnerships to help deliver on our mission and improve developmental outcomes for children.

Western Australia

The Children’s Collective: as part of the 2019 Early Childhood Learning and Development Conference held in March 2019, Child Australia held a VIP roundtable event focussed on bringing together over 30 key sector CEO’s and government leaders for a discussion on how best to work together to improve outcomes for children.

Premier McGowan had launched his Government’s “Our Priorities” statements only 2 weeks prior, with a key priority being “a bright future” – dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of children in the early years.

A key outcome from this round table discussion was to focus on strengthening, establishing or re-establishing networks between non-government organisations and government agencies with a dedicated view to improving short and long term outcomes for children. From this discussion, smaller working groups were formed to tackle complex issues and develop innovative solutions.

These 3 working groups have commenced working on various initiatives to help support children and their families on:

Ear Health Initiative
Home Learning Environments
Reaching invisible children

Collective Impact Advisory Groups

Child Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) working group commenced in December 2018 with 7 members. At the first meeting held on the 11th of December 2018 the group decided they wanted a RAP that contained tangible actions for people to put in place. During the second meeting in February the group discussed the Narragunnawalli website to work through developing a RAP, this is accessed through the Reconciliation Australia website.

Child Australia’s board approved an EOI to be circulated to all RAP members with the intent of securing a chairperson to lead the RAP working group. It was expressed at this meeting that they also create a co-chairperson from Bagot programs in Darwin.

The Child Australia RAP group has now grown to 12 members. Current work is seeking input and feedback from staff in regard to their ideas for Child Australia’s vision for reconciliation. The 5 dimensions are race relations, equality and equity, Unity, Institutional Integrity and historical acceptance. Reconciliation Australia state these five dimensions do not exist in isolation; they are inter-related, and as an organisation we can only achieve full reconciliation if we progress in all five. The RAP committee have decided to apply a reflective approach to the development of our RAP to ensure everyone in the organisation is committed. The development of Child Australia’s RAP will continue into 2019 and 2020, it is envisaged that we will move on to an innovate RAP.

Connecting Community for Kids Initiative (Cockburn and Kwinana) – WA Child Australia auspices the backbone of this initiative which is funded through the Woodside Development and is directed at improving early childhood development outcomes in the Cockburn and Kwinana local government areas of Western Australia.

Grow Well Live Well (Palmerston) – NT continued to make inroads into the Palmerston community service provision agenda and Child Australia being a major player is well positioned to contribute towards the project goals. Particularly as the population base is growing in the Palmerston and outer Darwin areas attracting young families seeking education and care options.

Deadly20 (Bagot Reserve) – NT is continuing to oversee the social services agenda within the Bagot community. This year saw the formation of the community safety program, which Bagot OSHC contributed toward and immersed into existing practices.

Connected Beginnings (Central Australia) – NT aims to help Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children in areas of high need be well prepared for school by supporting Indigenous pregnant women, and Indigenous children from birth to school age. Over time it is anticipated the program will contribute to reducing the difference in school readiness and education outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. In Alice Springs this initiative is in its early stages of implementation and Child Australia has become involved with this project to contribute towards greater outcomes for the children and families of Alice Springs.

The past year saw frameworks developed to bring the collective impact model to a further level of sophistication heading into 2019 where it will be a platform to align with the Northern Territory Government’s early childhood policy.

Children, Families & Community

Harrisdale Early Learning Centre

Child Australia Harrisdale officially opened on the 17th January 2019. Since they opened their doors it has been a very busy but also an exciting journey that the Harrisdale team have been on

Harrisdale Garden

The focus areas for the Harrisdale team have been:

Establishing and developing our curriculum
Building relationships with children, families and the community
Setting up compliant routines and procedures

Establishing and Developing our Curriculum

One of the first priorities was develop a teaching philosophy for Harrisdale as a team. At team meetings they discussed various ‘Approaches to Learning’ and uncovered what pedagogy they connected with. This was a great team bonding process as they discovered what each other’s values and beliefs are as educators and how this influences their teaching practice. The outcome was the team deciding that the ‘Approaches to Learning’ would be used as the foundation of Harrisdale’s curriculum; Reggio Emilia, Loose Parts, Magda Gerber, R.I.E, Circle of Security, Rights of a Child and Play-Based. An extension from this was the team creating the ‘Our Story’ board. The purpose of ‘Our Story’ is to share the journeys of learning that the team is on with the children and how this connects to the Early Years Learning Framework.

Building Relationships with children, families and the community

This has been at the centre of everything that the team do within the centre. Since opening, they have had a range of different local services come to the centre as part of the curriculum. They have connected with the Armadale Fire Service, Armadale Library, Dentist and Woolworths so far and the children have really enjoyed learning more about the different services within their community.

Another priority for the Harrisdale team was to have families actively participate and contribute to what happens within the service. They have set up a Parent’s Nook for families to access a range of books that focus on child development, board games and cook books – this has been well received by the families!

Setting up Compliant Routines and Procedures

Setting up a brand-new service has been filled with a number of learning outcomes for the team as they become more familiar with the individual team members. They have implemented emergency evacuation practices including bush fire, lockdown and fire emergency drills within the service.

The Harrisdale team have recently held a first aid training session on premises. All permanent staff hold a current first aid and CPR certificate.

Lockridge Campus

The Child Australia Lockridge Campus includes an Exceeding rated Early Learning Centre and Outside School Hours Care Service. They provide Quality Education & Care for approximately 90 children attending daily aged between 8 weeks to 12 years.

This year Lockridge has been extremely busy, reaching our highest utilisation ever in December, and welcoming five new Educators to the team, and saying “goodbye” to one long-term educator. The team have had extremely minimal turnover of families from our Early Learning Centre in the new year as most of the Kindy children transitioned over to the OSHC. This has given the service the youngest cohort of children in a long time with the average age of child attending now seven year’s old in the OSHC space. They are continuing to support the local community with weekly excursions to the community garden and a walking bus to Lockridge Primary School.

Staffing and professional development and growth at Lockridge Campus

The team at Lockridge are continually developing, with 14 out of 17 Educators holding their Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

This year they employed a fully Qualified Chef as the food coordinator. Paula has been a fabulous addition to the team and has been instrumental in them implementing a new Menu through the Feed Australia Program. The Lockridge team are aware of how important good nutrition is for the children to give them the best possible start, especially those who are most vulnerable.

This year the team had a sad celebration when their long term Educator May Godinho retired, May had been with them for seven years and is now off travelling around with her husband and spending time with her grandchildren.

Highlights of the opportunities presented to staff this year include:

All Educators were offered to attend the ECLD2019 Conference in Perth
All staff have First Aid, asthma and anaphylaxis training – 100% coverage
All staff attended onsite Circle of Security training
Educational Leader Training for an additional Educator to be able to support practices on the floor with the other Educators.

I have been working with Child Australia for four years, in this four years I have become more confident and positive in what I do, with ongoing learning opportunities like PD’S and conferences and I appreciate the skills I have developed.

– Uma, Senior Educator

Feed Australia Program

Another way the Lockridge team have been able to innovate to support good outcomes for children’s health and wellbeing is using the Feed Australia program. The program is designed to help analyse and develop menus to meet the nutritional requirements of the childcare setting. Applying this knowledge has led to an improvement in children’s nutrition. The team are very proud that all meals meet the 50% RDI for children in childcare. The Feed Australia program has not only helped improve the quality of food but has allowed the sharing of recipes and ideas to the families for quick nutritious meals. Making improvements to the nutritional value of children’s food directly benefits the development of positive health behaviours in children to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Formalised transition to school process

This transition program was a tremendous success last year with benefits to the children, kindergarten teacher and the service in general.

The Lockridge Primary School had a complete administration change for 2019 so the transition program has been changed to now include formalised processes and procedures and additional stakeholders.

The Lockridge Campus ECT/Educational Leader along with the Lockridge Primary School Teacher were invited to a Ngala Calista run event focussing on transition to school in their catchment. Feedback from this forum was extremely positive and there is now hope that one can be run in the catchment area in the City of Swan to replicate the enthusiasm for the transition program.

Plans are underway to begin the process for 2020 transition to school over the next few months with a joint visit aimed to include Outdoor Classroom Day again this year, and shared lunches in the middle of fourth term.

Lockridge had to request an increase in our Child Care Subsidy to be able to continue accepting the most vulnerable children in our community. Our Current Additional Child Care Subsidy Gap is sitting at 40%. We have had a fabulous impact on our community with our Reconciliation Action Plan, we have increased from minimal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children in attendance to now where they make up 29% of children in attendance of ELC.

Kids are loving it, despite the normal tears at drop off, they’ve been having a ball and Darcy has settled 100x better than we thought he would. Should’ve made the change years ago!

– Katelyn

As part of our orientation period, William and I spent quite a few days together playing with the others in the nursery. Slowly I started to spend some time out of the room to allow William to get to know Uma and Kaylia.  I, as I’m sure many parents are, was hesitant to leave William for his first ‘full’ day in care. I think I rang the centre twice that day and was very quick to pick him up in the afternoon. Not once did any of the staff at the centre make me feel embarrassed about my concern, in fact I felt as if the team were supporting me as much as William in the transition.

– Shannon

HIPPY Hedland (Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters)

The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) is a voluntary home-based enrichment program funded through the Australian Government Department of Social Services. HIPPY is a two-year, early learning and parenting program for families with young children aged 4 and 5.

HIPPY empowers families in their role as their child’s first educator and focuses on the development of school readiness with an emphasis on pre-numeracy and pre-literacy experiences, concentration and listening with the intent of improving better educational outcomes for children. The program is facilitated by the coordinator and tutors, through home visits and group meetings therefore providing strong relationships with families, children and community.

In 2019 HIPPY Hedland reached the enrolment target of 25 new enrolments. 80% of the new families are of a CALD background, this has provided all families and Tutors with cultural experiences and new enrichment opportunities at group Meetings.

HIPPY Hedland continues to connect and work collaboratively with other services within the community, through these partnerships families are supported and provided with a wide range of learning opportunities such as; Royal Lifesaving Heart Beat Club, SDERA Road Safety education, Ngala parenting workshops, Circle of Security sessions, Macramé workshops and access to sessions hosted by WA Country Health on a range of topics from Healthy food choices to access to Speech pathologists.

HIPPY has given me the opportunity to remain my child first teacher. A lot of parents I talk to cannot tell me what their child is learning at school. HIPPY had helped keep my child’s communication open and enhance exactly what he is learning at school through HIPPY activities. It is a fantastic program, so many families would benefit.

– HIPPY Parent 2018

As a parent I worry when it comes to educating my younger son because English is my second language. I don’t know where to start or how to start. HIPPY is a great program given for free to Mums like me. A step by step procedure, how to build the foundation on teaching my kids. It is a great help building my relationship with my son and builds my confidence and get to meet people.

– HIPPY Parent 2019

Being a HIPPY Tutor is a rewarding job, I am able to meet new families and gives me an opportunity to expand my network in town and share my skills and applied knowledge to every pack delivery. Pack delivery enhances my chance to reflect onto my daily routines by talking and sharing experiences we have with families and children, with HIPPY life is great.

– HIPPY Tutor 2019

HIPPY Geraldton (Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters)

Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters ( HIPPY) is a two year home based early learning and parenting program.

The HIPPY approach is based on evidence that children’s earliest and most powerful learning comes from their family. This evidence shows that encouraging literacy and numeracy in early childhood sets children up for success in learning throughout their lives. In the Kindergarten and Pre Primary year, HIPPY children work through a weekly/ fortnightly pack of play based educational activities with their parent/carer and family. Parents are supported to bring learning off the activity pack page and into the world, encouraging a love of learning, improved relationships within families, maximising school potential, building self- esteem and confidence.

I’ve really enjoyed doing HIPPY with Rose.  It has fulfilled my goal to spend more quality time with her.  I’ve learnt so much about the skills that help young children to be successful learners at school and in life.  The 3 C’s, and behaviour specific praise are simple and powerful strategies and as an educator, I am excited to add them to my toolkit and share them with other parents.

– Alicia, HIPPY parent and tutor

This year HIPPY Geraldton’s cohort of 60 families reflected the rich and diverse cultural community.

The team worked hard to develop cultural awareness through online training, locally guided workshops and plenty of yarns over tea and soup. Through regular group meetings with guest speakers, community networking, home visits, active listening, roleplay, enrichment workshops and certified tutor training sessions, the team’s lives and the lives of their participants have been so enriched.

Sharing my culture with the team and HIPPY families has been great.  I don’t mind at all when people have questions as it’s an opportunity to inform everyone.  I’d rather people be informed, rather than assume or not know.  It’s been a good opportunity for the team and families to hopefully get more of an insight about my Muslim culture.
I have loved going to the cultural awareness workshops.  It’s been really great learning so much and it’s definitely taught me how important it is to have an open mind and embrace everyone no matter someone’s culture or background.  Everyone has a story and is different which is amazing.

– Yasmin, HIPPY parent and tutor

I have truly enjoyed the HIPPY program this year and so have my two boys.  Being new to Geraldton, the program has encouraged us to explore and enjoy our community and learn from it in a way we wouldn’t normally have thought to.  As a mother I am so impressed and blown away by what the HIPPY program has to offer.  We’ve really enjoyed our tutor visits and I fell we benefit greatly from her insights and suggestions.  And I really enjoy our group meetings, hearing from other moms, their ideas and experiences.

– Melissa, HIPPY parent

This year we have captured the voices of HIPPY Geraldton children. A proud, fun filled photo gallery, beautiful work samples, many written anecdotes via text, phone call, display and even song, an indigenous song taught to age 5 in Green Pack 2. This feedback gives an opportunity for children to voice their experience of the program and will be used to improve and develop HIPPY for future families.

I just love doing all the stuff with you.  My favourite book is ‘Big and Small’ and my most favourite pack is Green 1 in Age 4 (he had been through them recently and new exactly which pack to pull out), the sorting activity was my favourite.

– Cole, Age 5 HIPPY child

I love making things and learning things! But mostly making stuff.

– Jake H, Age 4 HIPPY child


– Rose L, Age 4 HIPPY child

My favourite thing about doing HIPPY is how much fun it is and also doing things with my mum myself.  I love the experiment activities like ‘float and sink’ and ‘the freezing one’.  My favourite story books were the ‘Animal Counting’, ‘Adam’s Salad’ and ‘Charlie starts school’.

– Shakeel, Age 5 HIPPY child

The team have loved sharing the HIPPY program with families in Geraldton this year and look forward to welcoming a new cohort of 30 families in 2020 to share the joy of learning together.

We are really enjoying HIPPY as there are so many fun activities that Jaxon and I can complete at home. As soon as our pack is delivered, Jaxon is sitting up at the table ready to get started.

– Claire, HIPPY parent

Brilliant program, what a great learning experience. With one on one time with my daughter it has been wonderful not only for just being her mum but also being her first teacher. Was a great bonding experience and would recommend to all.

– Adelina, HIPPY parent

Being a HIPPY tutor has been an amazing opportunity for me. I not only get to be my child’s first teacher but also help other parents on their HIPPY journey. The training helps me have an understanding of what my child is learning at school and why things are being done. It’s a privilege to be able to share this with my HIPPY families. It never feels like work, just a chance to help other parents and I can honestly say I love doing this work.

– Blanche, HIPPY Tutor

West Pilbara Mobile Children’s Services

WPMCS deliver a play-based learning program built around the EYLF to children and families living in South Hedland and remote indigenous communities in the Pilbara that have limited access to child care services. They are funded by the Australian Government Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Implementing an enriching and educational program to more than 100 children, the team have been able to provide all attending children a culturally appropriate environment with activities that encourage exploration, learning and problem solving. Offering planned numeracy and literacy experiences to suit each child’s individual abilities and interests has ensured a greater readiness when transitioning into their formal years of education. With targeted parent attendance, development and support they have increased the adult attendance by over 50%.

Monday – Strelley 60km from Port Hedland
Tuesday – Yandeyarra 160km from Port Hedland
Wednesday – Warralong 180km from Port Hedland
Thursday – South Hedland Town Square

One of the team’s greatest achievements over the past 12 months has been the service promotion and increased community engagement. The team recognised a need for greater collaboration with local services and agencies – WPMCS could offer the connection that so many of the remote community children and families needed. The response has been overwhelming and the team are proud to report collaboration with over 12 health services and agencies such as Allied Health, Port Hedland Dental, Pilbara Population Health, Police, Aboriginal Family Law. These alliances have provided the opportunity for targeted play sessions, regular health and wellbeing consultations, support for parents/caregivers and engagement in community events. These external services and agencies have continued to refer families to engage in our program schedule and community events. Our latest collaboration saw Royal Life Saving – Heart Beat Club and Keep Watch Program successfully deliver essential life saving skills to some of our Yandeyarra families.

Great to see the kids getting together and learning new things. Good for the kids, they don’t get much

– Yandeyarra Community father

The CA WPMCS team are a service that is welcomed by the community and school here at Strelley. Trudy and her team always plan fun and engaging activities for our children from the range of newborn to 5 years old. The children are always excited to see the WPMCS vehicle pull into the community. Trudy and her team are kind, caring and show a true desire to work with and build relationships with our children, their carers and the school staff. We are seeing increased number of carers joining the Monday morning sessions which is a testament to this. We love having CA WPMCS here at Strelley and can see the valuable results their contribution makes to the children here.

– Ann Westerink, Lead Teacher – Strelley Community School Campus.

The staff are really friendly and provide awesome activities. My son (2 years 9 months) needs more interactions with children his own age and that’s why I brought him. I can see real progress with his patience and sharing and today he even sat down and traced over the “DAD” I wrote, he’s never done this before.  I’m new to town and don’t know anyone so it’s nice to have somewhere to go and meet other mums and get information on another services

– Leah, South Hedland playgroup

Larapinta Early Learning Centre

Larapinta Early Learning Centre is a professional learning community. Ongoing professional development and learning is encouraged and supported. All educators have the opportunity to take an active role in leading reflection and discussion on practice and individual and group goals and planned activities for the children.

Over the past year Larapinta ELC has filled the staffing structure with suitably qualified educators who lead the development of the curriculum. They have focused on building their “own tribe” and educators are encouraged and supported to use their skills, strengths and interests and share them with other educators. The team values relationships with families, children, with each other and their community.

Relationships are built through interaction, interest-based learning and also getting to know the family. By communicating daily with families, educators engage in constructive interactions and have close, secure relationships with the children in their care. Children are encouraged to make choices, take risks and demonstrate increased independence as they get older. Children have attachments and trust the educators who care for them and this is visible in each Play Studio. Educators understand and encourage children to communicate their thoughts and ideas both verbally and non-verbally (Hundred languages of the child – Malaguzzi) and educators practice actively listening and documenting these verbal and non-verbal languages.

Educator’s model and support children to understand the feelings and rights of others and create a culture of inclusion. The team continue to work collaboratively with Larapinta Primary School, Child and Family Centre and Preschool and continue their professional partnerships with external organisations to support all children to grow and develop to their full potential and become lifelong learners. The team have celebrated multiple events in both the community and nation and continue to build on these each year as our family and educators’ diversity and cultures are ever changing.

Larrapinta ELC’s commitment and dedication to high quality education and care practices were highlighted when they were awarded the Exceeding Rating from the Regulatory Authority in October 2018. Being one of the first few services to be assessed under the Revised National Quality Standards in the Northern Territory, this is a true testament to the determination of the team at Larapinta at such an early stage in its development as a service.

The team recognise the importance in working in partnership with families and this enhances better outcomes for their children and their future positive cognitive and social development.

Farrar Early Learning Centre

Farrar ELC is a 56-place centre located in the tropical vibrant city of Palmerston. This year we celebrated 7 years of service to the community. We are proud of our good reputation, delivering high quality education and care to the families and children in Palmerston and this year has been no exception!


Northern Territory Education and Care Awards 2018
Alanna Kole, shortlisted for Emerging Educator Award.
Winner of Outstanding Achievement in Innovation Award – Research Project Loose Parts.

Winning the Outstanding Achievement in Innovation Award at the Northern Territory Education & Care Awards provided the team with worthy recognition for all their hard work and creativity. Incorporating the Loose Parts theory into children’s play has seen a massive improvement to the environments and children’s ability to resource their own learning. The loose parts theory is embedded into practice and is continuously assessed for improvements. Families have been instrumental in supporting the process through donations of recyclables and household items.

Rated Exceeding the NQS

At the beginning of the year our service was assessed under the new ACECQA quality standards and we received a rating of Exceeding the NQS. We welcomed the opportunity to showcase the quality of our service and the final report highlighted our strengths and gave us further direction for improvement. A particular highlight from the report was a comment from the assessor about QA5 Relationships with children.

Educators were observed speaking to children respectfully, listening to their ideas and feelings and physically getting down to their level to uphold children’s rights and dignity. Educators were patient, gentle and calm when supporting and children’s behaviour.

– Comment from the assessor about QA5 Relationships with children

Building a Professional Learning Community

The educator team at Farrar ELC continues to go from strength to strength to build knowledge and skills and “Grow Our Own” in the NT. Over the past year more than half the team engaged in studies to achieve formal qualifications, this includes a school-based trainee from Mary McKillop Catholic College.

Studying towards Certificate III = 2 Staff members
Studying towards Diploma = 7 Staff members
Studying towards Bachelor = 3 Staff members

Along with formal qualifications the team has actively sought to develop their own professional practice attending the Little People Big Dreams Conference in Darwin and the Early Childhood Learning and Development Conference in Perth, both hosted by Child Australia.

Reflective Practice

Building a reflective culture has been a focus for the service over the past year and all educators regardless of their qualifications and experience have engaged with questions and conversations to explore new ways of thinking about their professional practice. As a result educators are becoming more intentional and responsive as they actively engage in children’s learning. They have continued to implement and embed into practice the Primary Caregiving approach, Respectful Infant Care philosophy and Loose Parts Play.

Diversity Embraced

The diversity of the educator team has increased this year with many different cultures represented; this has broadened understanding of and appreciation for different perspectives.

Strengthening partnerships with families and community

 Supporting families

The service continues to uphold its commitment to support families in their parenting role by providing parent information sessions and workshops. Their work alongside allied health professionals and inclusion professionals continues to provide support and resources for children with additional needs. Over the past year the team have worked diligently with the Department to secure funding to support two children in the service.

Acknowledging our work

Early Childhood Educators Day was a great opportunity for families and community to show their appreciation for the work the team do with children. The team received some wonderful donations and gifts from local businesses and families to help them recognise and celebrate their achievements.

Increased family and community engagement

Over the past year the team have seen increased engagement from families and community through centre events, working bees and parent/educator interviews. Families were encouraged to share and show what they know about their work and culture with children and participated in an array of incursions and excursions from Bunnings, Woolworths Discovery Tour, Palmerston City Library, the Defense Force, Police Force and Ambulance service.

Strengthening our social media output

To further strengthen partnerships and provide regular updates the team communicate with families using the Seesaw App. Families receive photos, videos, and communication about their child’s learning and development on a daily basis. This has become families preferred means of communication and participation with the service. Comments from parents of three-year-old children who were photographed engaging in Doctor role-play.

This is wonderful to see!

– Cassandra

This is Pippa’s favourite thing to play

– Joanne

Chloe would love this, she loves to look after people when they are unwell

– Donna

I love seeing this sort of imaginative play! Thanks for your hard work with these set-ups Mel and Hannah! So beneficial for the kids!

– Natalie

An exciting year lies ahead for Farrar ELC as they look to continue their efforts to provide quality education and care for families and children in the Palmerston community.

I wanted to say thank you to all the staff at Farrar for the wonderful care you have given Rowan over the past year.
He has learned so much through all the activities. It was great to see him experience a range of new things, stuff I never would have thought of doing at home. Seesaw was great, I loved getting an insight into his day and knowing he was happy. I’m planning to continue similar activities with him at home, the girls told me he loves baking which is great to know as that can be our special thing together.
The staff showed genuine care for him and always made drops offs easy even on his bad days. I felt I could trust his carers which was really important and many times I even got advice on how to handle little issues we were having.
I really appreciate everything you’ve done.

– Clare Cross, Mother of Studio 2 child – Rowan

Palmerston Early Learning Centre 

Integrated Services

The Young Mums Strong Mums program is now in its third year and improving every year, continuing to provide quality early learning and care for the children within the program. These children are building wonderful relationships with the educators and child and family centre (CFC) staff.

The 2018 eight Young Mums attended a graduation ceremony at Batchelor University, what an amazing achievement for these Mums. The team were so proud of them and happy to be a part of their journey.

The team continue to receive new enrolments into the service from parents who attend the different weekly playgroups, and have also had parents join in Families as First Teachers (FaFT) which has helped strengthen relationships within the Centre.

Culture and Centre Diversity Celebrations

This year the team held a joint reconciliation morning tea with the CFC. The morning welcomed elders and families to gather and listen to the children singing aboriginal songs. The CFC Indigenous Co-ordinator read the children story books such as the Cheeky dog stories and participated in arts and crafts.

NAIDOC was held with the CFC as collaborative community celebration. The team invited a troupe of Torres Strait Islander Dancers whilst Larrakia Nation set up screen printing activities. Dale Austin set up Ochre painting, played the didgeridoo and brought his turtle along for everyone to meet.

The team continued cultural celebrations with the Holi festival. Their Indian educator strives to make this an amazing experience for the children every year and this year was no different. They were all covered in a sea of colours!

The team have many planned activities for the children and families to celebrate as the year moves on.

Staffing Strengths and Numbers

The team have introduced some wonderful new staff to the team at Palmerston. They welcomed a school-based trainee from Mackillop Catholic College; employed a graduate from the young Mums Strong Mums 2018 cohort on a traineeship; and had educators relocate to Darwin from other states to join the team. The team at Palmerston is culturally diverse which is a great strength of the centre.

Strengthening our social media output

The team ensured regular updates for families and the wider community to showcase the amazing things happening throughout the centre. This year they implemented the communication platform Seesaw App for families. This has supported communication between educators and families to strengthen the partnership relationships when planning for children’s learning and development.

The team implemented the use of the Feed Australia program using the App. This has enabled the centre to ensure they are providing quality and nutritious meals to the children at all mealtimes.

Continuing their strive for quality

As a team and service, they are committed to continuous improvement. Their educator team embed self-reflection to improve practice implemented to ensure quality education and care for all children. This year one of their educators Kelly was short listed for the GTNT Vocational Student of the year award.

Nightcliff Early Learning Centre

This financial year marks 12 months of employment for the Director as well as a number of Educators who joined Nightcliff Community ELC when management changed in 2018. They have welcomed and farewelled a number of wonderful Educators in the past 12 months, with many Educators relocating interstate. They are always thankful for the contributions and memories our departing Educators leave with the children and community.

The Director commends the resilience and courage the team has shown as they went through a big period of change. They have reviewed almost every process in the service as a part of the quality improvement process to ensure practices are of quality, are current and suit the needs of the children and the Educators within the team. They have worked hard to continue a culture of positivity, resilience, support, transparency, diversity and respect. Within the review process it is important to consider and reflect whether everything that they do is respectful and child centred.

Building Capacity in our Team

With a change in management comes a change in direction. This year the Director has been working hard to develop capacity of Educators by developing working groups within the team. These working groups not only build on the interests of Educators outside of their day to day activities, they also manage the development of projects within programs that have great value on the learning and development of children. The team’s current projects include a sustainability working group and wellbeing working group. These groups independently attend professional development to build knowledge and have been working within the rooms to contribute to programs. The sustainability team have been developing a policy, reviewing and developing the sustainability plan and working with Educators to put new practices in place within the environments. The team have also been working collaboratively with Nightcliff Primary School’s ‘Eco-Warriors’ cohort of students with the introduction of a recycling bin which is managed by the school, as well as a peer to peer support group around the learning and development of our Sustainable Kitchen Garden Project. The Wellbeing Team have been learning about children’s wellbeing and how to support children holistically, with a focus on mental health and trauma.

A focus on Community

With a change in management in April 2018, a priority of the Director was to strengthen partnerships and working relationships with families, other Child Australia Services (particularly the OSHC program at Nightcliff), the Nightcliff Primary School (of who are partnered with), as well as the broader community of Nightcliff and Darwin.

As a result of the hard work put into this area by the team, they have incorporated more areas of the school within the program, supporting familiarity and confidence for children transitioning to the school in their Transition year. The team have also held shared events with the Nightcliff OSHC team and are continually looking for ways to bring the children together to celebrate the sharing and learning that can be experienced between the various ages.

The team has met with the wider community, including Paws Darwin, Juninga Aged Care and Food Bank NT to explore possibly partnerships. The team will continue these negotiations moving into the next 12 months. They have also had many conversations with families around how to connect to build a culture of support and extend those relationships outside of the service.

This year the team also connected with the local Bunnings store. They were able to secure a 12 month project working together with the service team and with the input of the children, to create a sustainable kitchen garden. The team became a member of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Project and within the Eco-Warriors team have been working through the Small Green Steps professional development package. Small Green Steps is supporting the Eco-Warrior team to build knowledge and capacity around sustainable projects and leading this area within the team.

Embedding Indigenous Perspectives

Within the area of community partnerships the team have been working with another Child Australia service close in proximity to explore shared pathways, in both culture and community. Child Australia’s Indigenous Programs Manager, has been working closely with the team to learn about the culture of the Larrakia people and how they can embed Indigenous perspectives within the service and program in respectful and meaningful ways. This journey has involved a NAIDOC event where our Educators, families and Bagot OSHC Educators came together to build relationships and develop a two way partnership of learning. From there the team attended professional development to strengthen their knowledge and practice, as well as appointing a community and culture liaison person within the team to lead the planning and organising of events, particularly round ABTSI events and celebrations. Play Studio 1 Educator has loved the opportunity to work in an area of personal interest being an Aboriginal woman herself.

Moving toward the next 12 months the team will continue planning opportunities for learning for the Nightcliff ELC/OSHC community working closely with the team at Bagot OSHC.

Nutrition and Feed Australia

This year the team migrated the menus over to the Department of Health program ‘Feed Australia’. Feed Australia provides a platform for Early Years services to input their nutrition and menu data for analysis to ensure children are being provided with a balanced nutritious menu. The program also offers menu ideas, support with recipes and information relating nutrition. The Director and Food Coordinator also attended a Professional Development morning to support our migration to this program. The feedback from children has been great, in general children are enjoying the meals and overall the service have not had too many changes to our meals compared to previous menus.

She loves you guys. You are doing an amazing job.

– Jessica, Mother of Adalyn – Play Studio 2

Exceptional quality ELC… We are grateful and happy

– Greg, Father of Naja – Play Studio 3

My experience with Nightcliff ELC and in the Nursery room has been positive. I feel there was a real positive change in the room at the beginning of 2019 with Haylee leading the team and this positivity has been carried throughout the year. I feel confident with leaving my son there each day, knowing that the carers genuinely care about him and stimulate him in learning activities each day.

– Joss, Mother of Sonny – Play Studio 1

Our son is in the nursery room and we are very happy with the service the centre provides. Luca is always happy when we pick him up, the environment is beautiful, the carers are fantastic, the director very approachable and involved and the food for the children is healthy and nutritious. I could not praise this centre enough. There are also plenty of activities for parents to get involved in. Well done Nightcliff Community Early Learning Centre!

– Julia, Mother of Luca – Play Studio 1

Love that my child feels loved and supported by the team! I particularly love the amount of outdoor play that they do and creative activities. He loves going!

– Emma, Mother of Jensen – Play Studio 4

My daughter Ella has been attending NCELC for the last year. Since our very first day at the Nursery Ella and I have been supported by all of the staff and team on both a personal and professional level. Ella has undergone some amazing (yet challenging) changes over the last twelve months. As a first time mother I have had many doubts and questions regarding Ella’s learning, development and emotional needs. By receiving informal and formal feedback from staff along with advice and solutions I feel that we have been able to meet her needs and all learn along the way.
Ella has gained confident in her communication and social abilities by engaging in meaningful activities with her peers and friends in the classroom and playground. Not only has Ella now established a stong group of friends but we have both found a supportive community at NCELC.

– Eve, Mother of Ella – Play Studio 1

I am immensely pleased with Nightcliff ELC as a place of care and learning for our daughter. She is always happy to attend daycare, she is comfortable with all of the staff, with her friends and with her surroundings. I do not have any concerns that her safety is not paramount to the daycare team, or that any issues wouldn’t be raised with us promptly.
Our daughter is fortunate that some of the staff are ‘long termers’, whilst other positions have turned over more frequently. In practically all cases, our daughter has great connections with the educators and they all clearly have affection for her and the other children. Genuine empathy is a valuable thing.
The daycare management is fantastic; headed by Renee, they are responsive, patient with our questions and requests, and keen to receive feedback, which shows that they listen. Renee has engendered a culture of delegation to her staff, many of whom seem to have really risen to their respective tasks. It seems to me that this can only be a positive in terms of career development opportunities and job satisfaction. I have full faith that Renee carefully crafts her staff to build the kind of culture and work ethic that serves our daughter very well.
I have been pleased to support and encourage the Centre’s attempts to be innovative and progressive in the services they provide, for example the introduction of adopted pets to daycare. Whilst this particular example didn’t eventuate, it is good to see a centre that is always looking for new and positive experiences for the children.

– Jo, Mother of Maiana – Play Studio 3

Nightcliff Outside School Hours Care

Nightcliff OSHC has undergone exciting periods of change in the last 12 months which have shaped the growth and development of the service. In January 2019 they increased to 90 places, expanding the Nightcliff OSHC community which has grown to include over 120 families. This change has driven development in programming practices with the goal of providing meaningful experiences for the individual children within care.

The Nightcliff OSHC team have seen incredible changes in the play, leisure and learning environments as they have worked towards this goal, expanding past the indoor space to engage with more diverse external, natural, environments.

In March 2019 leadership changes within Nightcliff OSHC and Child Australia OSHC NT strengthened the culture of continuous improvement. Part of the continuous improvement focus has included developing free-flow play and transition practices which provide children with increased autonomy and ownership over their experiences at OSHC.

Going from strength to strength

The standout achievement this year has been occupancy growth and maintenance. Nightcliff OSHC has achieved an average after school care occupancy of 93% and 43% occupancy during vacation care in 2019. The service is projected to maintain their occupancy through the remainder of 2019 and into 2020.

Where to next for Nightcliff OSHC

Moving forward, Nightcliff OSHC will focus on further developing relationships with the local community. They have begun planning joint projects with Nightcliff Early Learning Centre for the second half of 2019 which will contribute to creating a cohesive community environment for families and children from birth – 12 years. Nightcliff OSHC will also be working towards developing stronger long daycare to after school care transition practices through this partnership.

The team’s primary goal for the remainder of 2019 focuses on developing staffing stability within the service. They aim to achieve this goal through increasing the number permanent part-time Educators employed at the service, decreasing reliance on casual Educators.

Anula Outside School Hours Care

Child Australia’s Anula OSHC, a partnership with Anula Primary School, commenced operation on the 21 April 2019, and were welcomed by the families and school community whole heartedly. The service has the capacity to cater for 70 children in after school care and vacation care programs and are fortunate to be able to offer care to children from pre-school to year 6.

Anula OSHC is a small service, which allows educators greater time to learn more about the children, and allows building a solid rapport and bond with each of them. Educators are cognisant of which activities each child has a preference to, along with their strengths and weaknesses. Educators engage with each child via play and targeted conversations to build an understanding of them which in turn gives the child the knowledge that they are valued and cared about by the educators. Through play and allocation of tasks, educators are able to strengthen and develop the children bringing out the best in all of their abilities

Our goals for the end of the reporting period

Building a solid foundation within the Anula Primary School family
Focusing on trust and unity has been achieved
We will continue to foster, strengthen and build these relationships into the future
Building our OSHC utilisation

The children and their families are the number one priority at Anula OSHC. The team listen to them, structuring activities commensurate with the input and feedback provided. That fact along with specific targeted activities from educators, aligning with the My Time Our Place framework and EYLF, ensures that the team are able to provide exciting and engaging activities enhancing the development the children.

As a parent it is such a relief to know that your child is being cared for in a safe and engaging environment with stable staff. Maggie has always been a bit shy of attending OSHC and it was difficult on school holidays to get her to attend vacation programs as she was anxious & unsure.
At Anula OSHC though she is happy, engaged and always happy to join Tanya, Mick and crew. The vacation care program offered was interesting and enticing and suddenly I had a little girl who was asking to attend sessions. Often I would pick her up only to ask if we could stay a bit longer.
In the afternoons we are always greeted with a hello and the staff are very personable and always happy to chat. Thanks for the great job that you do in helping us to care for the children at Anula Primary School. It is greatly appreciated.

– Wanita McNeill, OSHC Parent

I liked going to vacation care. The animals and the sport that we played were good fun. I liked Mr Michael kicking the football with me.
There used to be a lot of fighting at the old afterschool care and there is none of that now. I like coming to after school care now and there are always cool activities to do.

– Mason Cunningham, Year 2

I like coming to after school care to do doing drawing. Mr Michael is my buddy

– Atharv Rao, Pre School

I feel great when I’m here. My brother and friends are here and we get to have fun. Mr Michael and Mr Kane help us when do activities and I like how they play games with us

– Latrell Pomfret, Year 1

I feel great when I’m here. My brother and friends are here and we get to have fun. Mr Michael and Mr Kane help us when do activities and I like how they play games with us

– Latrell Pomfret, Year 1

I love being here it’s always fun. They have great activities to do every day of the week and they have great food. They let us climb trees which is really fun and they let us play handball. I love after school care. After school care = AWESOME/GREAT.

– Aaliyah Rogan, Year 5

I love going to After school care because we get to climb trees, draw, play handball. After school care = FUN.

– Eden Waite, Year 4

As the Principal of Anula Primary I am extremely satisfied with the service and care provided to our students and their families. Child Australia is a professional organisation that fits with the ethos of our school where the child is placed at the centre of all we do. They offer high quality care for our families and also run an exciting and fun filled vacation care program. Our school community is very happy with the service the centre delivers.

– Melinda Kealy, Principal, Anula Primary School

The girls would rather come to OSHC and be with you guys than come home to hang out with dad. You do a great job with them, thank you

– Alistair Ogilvie, OSHC Parent

Wanguri Outside School Hours Care

Wanguri OSHC is one of Child Australia’s newest services, and is a growing program that currently caters for more than 70 families attending Wanguri Primary School. The Program also caters for Pre School aged students. Wanguri OSHC’s primary purpose is to support the growth, development and quality of life for their young people, their families and communities.

They believe that supportive play-based environments create rich experiences that foster relationships, develop children’s social skills and scaffold how they step out into the wider world. The team seek to set up their children for success by developing confident, self-effective, compassionate and resilient future leaders. Educators show unconditional positive regards toward the children and take an active interest in their physical and emotional wellbeing. The team understand that behaviour is a form of communication and listen for the words not said to meet their needs.

The team understand that the service provides a connection between home and school. They recognise the opportunity to create meaningful experiences, develop extra-curricular interests or skills, and establish important connections. The team welcome and celebrate diversity in all forms, understanding that it enriches the service and community.

The team encourage and promote local and global conscientiousness, building respect for their environment, each other, and themselves. They seek to employ sustainable practices, reduce their environmental footprint and assist in making this world a better place.

Our goals for the financial year end 2019 were the following:

Continue to strengthen partnerships with their families and their involvement in the program
To continue working towards a culture of continuous improvement.

Wanguri OSHC are proud of their achievements this year. Some key highlights include: a strong Partnership with the School, families and community; feedback from families, visitors and the school community – noting the significant changes implemented over the past twelve months; and their strong and stable utilisation.

Ned and Alby only attend 1 day a week, but based on that, our experience with Child Australia OSCH have been quite positive. It seems to be better structured with a range of activities compared to the previous OSCH. Ned and Alby seem to be learning at OSCH instead of ‘filling in’ time. Staff are always pleasant, friendly and helpful. Although Ned and Alby have only attended a couple of days of the vacation care program, they always enjoy the activities. The programs always look interesting and educational.

– Donna

I have been very happy with the new Wanguri OSHC. The staff did an excellent job in difficult circumstances getting everything set up at the start of the year. All the team members are friendly, professional and approachable. The flexibility with changing or adding days has been much appreciated- I have a casual job so don’t always get a lot of notice regarding work days.
The main difference this year at OSHC been an increased focus by staff on encouraging students to maintain positive relationships. Previously, antisocial behaviours were sometimes ignored by staff which led to some younger students feeling unsafe or mimicking inappropriate behaviour. It has been great to see staff intervening when necessary. I often see staff making an effort to spend time talking and playing with some of the students who are still working on their appropriate social interactions. It makes me feel glad to see staff building positive relationships with these kids and modelling positive behaviours instead of just telling them off
My kids are happy at OSHC and their only feedback is they would like more screen activities, specifically “educational Minecraft

– Rosalind Jacob

Bagot OSHC

The past 12 months at the Bagot Community OSHC has seen many positive changes. The fully renovated kitchen has aided in the transition to a new and healthy menu, which is proving to be a success. The old play equipment in the backyard has been removed and the outdoor space cleared, which has opened up ideas and plans for a new outdoor area in the future.

Vacation care has seen many excursions including trips to the Territory Wildlife park and the movies, the children were also lucky enough to have had the chance to take part in a ‘couch surfing’ event hosted by Anglicare NT, this in an annual event to highlight the issue of youth homelessness. This was a joint initiative with Corrugated Iron, a youth arts team that works with Bagot OSHC on a regular basis. The event saw ‘Team Bagot’ decorate a couch which then had wheels attached and take part in team races. Corrugated Iron kindly supplied the couch and a talented street artist so they could decorate it with the children, who enjoyed the whole process. This was a brilliant experience for the children to have been a part of where they showed great team spirit, through a long hot day of racing, only missing out on the top spot by a fine margin.

A ‘walking bus’ has been added to the OSHC program for the children to return from school and transition into OSHC; this has been a great success with both families and children. The environments have undergone many makeovers, trying out new spaces and experiences which are inviting, allow and encourage the children to be creative.

Looking to the future there are several upgrades planned for the building – with bathroom renovations and an outdoor area upgrade. The team are also looking to further community engagement by collaborating with other services within Child Australia. Our links with Corrugated Iron will continue moving towards a project-based approach.

Bagot Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS)

Mums and Bubs

2019, what a great year for participants and staff of the Mums and Bubs at Bagot. There were a few new enrolments in the program with four new Bagot Babies born this year which has been very exciting. The Mums and Bubs program is always well attended during the week and families have been full of new and innovative ideas for the program. The staff have been busy too, undertaking professional development and Certificate III in ECEC. Growing skills and creating new opportunities for the children in Bagot is the team’s passion and they have the greatest time doing it. Supporting parents and children’s relationships and helping families’ nurture the connections with their children is the team’s favourite part of working at Bagot.

Families for School Attendance [FFSA]

The support the team offer to families on the Bagot community is driven by the individual needs of each family and each of the children within the family. The team’s work this year has been focused on supporting families to assess CCS within Centrelink, Support with Territory families and child protection. Ongoing support with children who have experienced trauma and solution-focused plans to support their participation in school. The Families for School Attendance program work is now supported by the Bagot Communities safety plan and network meetings. The heavy focus on a safe community for children and working collaboratively with the steering group has given the work a new direction and ability to be part of larger scale change in the community. Being a recognised and valued partner to the Bagot community is something the team are extremely proud of.

Walking Bus

Success in school attendance is the driving force behind the Walking Bus, historically children with 100% attendance were a rarity amongst the Bagot children. This year we have seen most children sitting consistently between 80% and 100% weekly. Children with 100% attendance occurs frequently and on two occasions this year the school has reported 100% attendance of all the Bagot children enrolled on a single day. This is an incredible milestone for the Walking Bus and not done without hard work and consistent and predictable routines and support. The Walking Bus is a staple service for the Bagot Community.

Collective Impact (CI)

The Collective Impact work has had three major focuses this year: housing and community upgrades; program development for youth services in the Bagot community; and the partnership between Child Australia and the Bagot Community Aboriginal Corporation. While these have been the bigger focus areas the team have also worked with the community on the safety plan and other key events for the community like NAIDOC.

With the announcement of major funding for Aboriginal community housing upgrades this year the CI team has been diligently working with Yili housing to ensure that the houses and facilities for the community get the much needed renovations. Improving the lives of the families and children in the community has been a central piece of work of the collective impact plan from its outset. With a commitment from the Territory Government this year the team have been able to move this part of the plan for Bagot into Action. The funding has seen 17 houses renovated, main community offices renovated, installation of sufficient lighting around the community, safety bollards around community spaces, asphalt upgrades for roads, new water pipes across the whole community and drainage as well as appropriate fencing around each home. This body of work is still ongoing. The upgrades have allowed the community advisory committee to begin making significant changes around the community and to work towards the vision they have for Bagot.

The Collective Impact team also sought out and developed a partnership with Darwin community arts to provide the youth [aged 10-18] to have opportunities to develop music and drumming skills. This program is still developing itself but has already seen some fantastic outcomes for the drumming workshops. The children involved featured as a main act at the NAIDOC event for 2019 and brought the whole place down.

The NAIDOC event was a collective event ran by the whole team for the community. The full day of activities included flag raising ceremony, traditional dancing, damper making, spear throwing contests and music acts including the Bagot Drummers. Service providers had stalls and information set up all day for the families and the event was attended by the entire community and many visitors ventured in for the day. It was by far the highlight event for this year and the team are planning a bigger and louder event for 2020.

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Financial Performance 2019

Maria Miller
Maria MillerCorporate Services

Overall Child Australia’s financial position is stable and the organisation is well-positioned for growth opportunities.

Child Australia’s operating results over the 2018/2019 financial year showed a consolidated profit of $32K for 2019, an improved position from 2018 profits of $18k.

The organisation’s revenue streams are derived from State/Territory and Federal Government funded programs and fee-for-service in the early to middle childhood sector. The fee for service component continues to be an area of strong growth and represents 79% of total revenue compared to 75% in 2018. This increase is a result of growth in innovative initiatives that have seen an expansion of the organisation’s diversified revenue streams.

Staffing costs remain the largest expenditure item and makes up 70% of total expenditure. The focus on providing a high-quality workforce is evidenced by the organisation’s continued commitment to above award wages and professional development opportunities across the organisation.

During the 2018/2019 financial year, Child Australia’s Senior Executives continued their focus on the financial stability of the organisation providing a stable robust foundation for growth and opportunity. In addition, the streamlining of various processes and a dedicated commitment to sustainability has resulted in improved efficiencies and cost savings across the organisation.

The carry forward unexpended program funds decreased to $0.4m (2018 -$0.5m) and will be employed within the 2019/2020 programs.

All staff entitlements were accrued in full at year end and program funding received in advance held over to the new financial year.

An exciting year lies ahead for the organisation as it looks to continue efforts to broaden its revenue and asset base in a continued climate of reduced government funding. Overall Child Australia’s financial position is stable and the organisation is well-positioned for growth opportunities.

Child Australia Revenue 2018/2019

Child Australia Expenditure 2018/2019

Child Australia Supporters

“Your support is invaluable and enables us to work towards our vision of a community where children grow, thrive and reach their full potential.”

Child Australia would like to acknowledge all the organisations and individuals who have assisted us over the course of the year.

Contact Details

National Toll Free: 1300 66 11 64

WA Office:

NT Office:

If you have any further inquiries please contact us!