Inner Gippsland Area Partnership Launches ‘Hop About, Jump About, Learn About ‘Burra’ book at the Korumburra Library
The book was launched by Sally Baker, Coordinator Children and Family Services, South Gippsland Shire Council, with members of the Area Partnership working group who led its development. The working group members represented the diverse family services in Korumburra, such as the Karmai Community Children's Centre, Anglicare Victoria, and Maternal and Child Health.
The launch was attended by numerous local families who took home copies of the book. Email addresses were collected from families who volunteered to provide feedback on the book’s content. The event was also attended by other family service workers and South Gippsland Shire Mayor, Lorraine Brunt. Families were invited to stay for lunch, socialise and read the book to their children.
Having children here today reminds us, too, about why we do this work
– Sally Baker, South Gippsland Shire Council
The ‘Hop About, Jump About, Learn About Burra’ children’s book was developed to promote children and family’s belonging and connection to Korumburra. This book also provides vital information to parents and carers about health and education programs for children aged 0-2 in their area. It is an invitation for families to explore their neighbourhood while building parenting confidence and capacity in the local community.
The book’s concept came out of co-design sessions the Area Partnership undertook with Peer Academy in February 2017. The co-design team examined data from Child FIRST and the South Gippsland Shire Council and identified local families were not accessing relevant support services, and that universal services and early interventions needed to better support complex family needs.
We were able to see that our clients in particular – the families who are experiencing vulnerability – their participation in early years universal services wasn’t great. We needed to know that these children were attending maternal and child health nurse appointments, that they were linking in with long day care, that their parents know when kinder enrolments are due and how to go about it; and we knew that to be a gap.
– Brooke Pym, Anglicare
The book is designed to inform families with children under two, or who are pregnant, about services and programs in their local community, including Maternal Child Health services, childcare, kinder, playgroup, immunisation, and the library through an interactive map. The book’s unique narrative is created through the eyes of local children who live, learn and play in Korumburra.
Beyond addressing the needs of vulnerable families in the area, the co-design team envision that the book will act as a welcoming invitation to new members of the community: “Korumburra’s very much a growth area, we see a lot of families moving in from the South-Eastern suburbs, and that first idea was about an invitation and welcoming them to the region
- Brooke Pym (Anglicare)
Speaking about their involvement in the Area Partnership, Chloe Townley (Karmai Community Children's Centre) and Brooke Pym (Anglicare) reflected on the process of coming together to realise a community aspiration of greater participation in early years and universal services:
The co-design sessions were very intense, they really made us think outside our box to identify things we weren’t quite aware of at the start and make us more savvy
I don’t think any of us had any idea of what the co-design process was going to be. It was quite a surprise to all of us just how challenging it would be. It wasn’t until the third session that any of us really grasped what we were doing. But, it was amazing; it was like a light-bulb moment: ‘Oh, hang on, we’re going to create something here and it’s going to be amazing’. I think, at that point, we all reached a level of enthusiasm and excitement; we were committed at that point; we’re going to make this happen.
For members of the working group, the co-design process facilitated by the Area Partnership was a unique opportunity for collaboration between service members that otherwise would not have occurred:
We have worked very separately; we have worked in silos … this would be the first time (in ten years) I’ve worked really strongly together with the universal early years service to achieve an outcome.
For me, I think’s it’s been an informal invitation to get to know other services and to really step out of my comfort zone. I was definitely aware of the services that were offered, but I really hadn’t been given an opportunity to be able to see what is out there. It was an informal invitation to really explore.
Over the next 12 weeks, the working group will collect feedback from families. The feedback will be used to redraft the book, which will then be printed and distributed via local family service providers and friends of the partnership.