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Local People Helping Improve Young Lives

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Two Indigenous women in dark blue shirts hold or support four Indigenous children, the group stand in front of a brick building mostly painted white with trees nearby.
Playgroups: placing children on a path to a better education
12 Apr 2017

Since July 2015, Playgroup WA has partnered with five schools in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia to establish and maintain playgroups in a bid to improve school readiness for local Indigenous families.

Playgroup WA CEO David Zarb said the Indigenous Advancement Strategy-funded playgroups operate in Quairading, Pingelly, Goomalling, Dalwallinu and Wagin.

“More than 40 children and families are currently participating in the playgroups, thanks in large part to the locally-based Indigenous playgroup support workers leading the groups,” David said.

All staff employed in these locations are local Indigenous people.

“Playgroup WA’s belief is that parents are experts on their children and that people are experts in their local community and their culture,” David said.

“Employing Indigenous staff to work with local Indigenous families brings knowledge and connections that are unique to the communities in which families live”.

Team Leader Chris Hawke recognises the important role of the playgroup workers.

“Our workers are highly respected within their local Indigenous communities and they provide a positive role model to local families and their children,” Chris said.

“It’s not Playgroup WA doing this, it’s the individual worker that is building capacity within local families and care givers.”

The success of playgroups in the region has come through the formation of positive relationships between all stakeholders.

“Playgroup WA has worked in partnership with many Indigenous organisations over the years and will continue to do so to ensure a positive future for families with children across Western Australia,” CEO David Zarb said.

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The Australian Government is committed to improving the quality of life for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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