Launceston TAS, Australia

What would it take for every child in Launceston Tamar Valley to be participating by 2035?

Our children are a great untapped resource, many of whom are not involved in decisions that affect them. A third of children do not have (computer based) internet access at home. The high cost of membership fees and transport excludes many from participating in clubs, sports and groups.

Posted by Sharon on the 29th Jun 2015.

The State of Launceston's Children report was published in July 2014, providing a baseline measure of how we are doing. Community consultations occurred from August 2014 to February 2015, and Community Committees in each area (George Town, Beaconsfield, Waverley/St Leonards, Northern Suburbs/Lilydale, Ravenswood) have discussed the data collected.

Now it's over to you. We want to know what it would take for every child to have active citizenhood, with the opportunity to contribute to their community and involvement in decisions that affect them.

kaylahmacqueen - Wouldn't it be good if we could have some mentor's in our community to help support parents that have not had support from family memebers eg. To help with teaching parents to cook, even being that shoulder to cry on, they could also help familys join in to the community and help find the right support that may be needed or helping children who just need someone to talk to maybe with the support of a mentor they could be showen new things they may not have had the chance to do or try.

Sharon - Yes this is much needed, Kaylah. Community has identified that there are more and more parents without any external support from extended family or friends or neighbours. Local schools or community centres could open their doors after hours for groups of community to meet and learn skills together, like cooking, or budgeting.

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Katherinebrooks - It's a tough one and not a 1 solution will fix it all a very complex question! !

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bofa - Work with the Beacon Foundation who are putting employers and youth together

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SarahC - I believe we need to have more groups running locally for families so that families that experience difficulties for whatever reason in being able to connect with services and groups can have more options and have a better chance at success. If groups for both children and adults were easier to access and not costly i think this would help participation and give many members of the community things to look forward to. If we were able to increase participation for all community with groups they are interested in i believe this would lead to building of skills, supports for both children and adults, connections being built within community, a sense of purpose and if nothing else something to look forward to. Having local supportive groups would give the community safe enviroments to talk, seek advice and build relationships. Another thing that needs to be considered is what happens when a group ends? What supports are available? Are there stepping stones (moving on to other groups to build skills or gain support). I would also like to see more ability to Outreach to families that are not connecting for whatever reason. I think we are doing some wonderful work in this area and have seen some of the differences this work has made but believe so many more might be reached with more funding/hours. I believe if we can get everyone participating that this will have a positive effect on all areas Health, Identity, Learning, Love.

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Rebekka - a regular interview/survey with children where they attend e.g. school, child care, local parks, sporting venues, child health clinics trying to capture the range of ages from the very young to teens. Asking children them selves what they would like to engage in? what is stopping their access to their wish list?

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trish - How about organisations offer training to those interested in gaining these skills to help others & get names out there

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Carmen - From our experience as a training provider, we have found that supporting parents to re-engage in education has achieved many positive outcomes for both the parent and child. Including the following: • Increased self-confidence • Sense of achievement • Role-modelling education for their children • Increased value of education for their children (anecdotal evidence suggests improved learning outcomes for their children when they commence school) • Continued learning pathway onto further education • Gained employment and financial stability

yvetted - What sort of training opportunities have you been involved in providing Carmen?

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Peter - Adam Mostygl from Illuminate Education runs some great programs for young people - illuminate.education/#programs

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Peter - Adam Mostygl at Illuminate Education runs some great development programs for young people. Adam runs some of his activities in the Launceston area

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EvArcher - Some focus on regional areas instead of increasing centralisation of services to the cities.

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EvArcher - Help the Lilydale community put together a flyer with information about what is available and where to go in the community. We just need someone to pull it together!

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Vic - Bring back cricket and or summer programs.7270 Lost active after school programs and we want them back, particularly more programs for boys. 7270

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Vic - Need more activities for kids,eg,Little athletics,kids need more to do.7270. More things for teenagers to keep them off the streets.7270

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Vic - We need a heated swimming pool that is accessible to community or access to the school pool.7270

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salglad - I am an early years educator and have been working alongside many families in my role that are continually reaching out for assistance, guidance and support to "be the best parent they can be". At Waverley Primary School we have been able to provide many families in the Waverley area quality programs from pregnancy to kinder age. we run "Great Expectations" a pregnancy support and pamper session that introduces mums to our setting, when bub is born we invite these families agin to our "Itsy Bitsy Babies" sessions where we begin the work to enable families to provide a great start for all their children. We are finding solid evidence of success in this as our KDC and PIPS results are showing positive gains in many areas.

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kmiller - George Town is itself an amazing, untapped resource that many inhabitants don’t make good use of ie if GT was anywhere else on the east coast of Australia you would be hard pressed to buy a house for under half a million. GT is on the river and the ocean, has protected coves and open beaches, flat farm land and a small mountain, historical sites and modern conveniences, a great supply of fresh water, etc. Five years ago I started the George Town Skate Park Committee with a group of teenage boys who wanted GT to be on the map for having a great skate park that would pull families in from all over the country who have an interest in skating. Those boys are now grown but there is a skate park that was initiated by their passion. Children have great ideas they just need a forum where they can be heard and not be railroaded by adults who create barriers to their passions. Driving through Derby this weekend my son said to me, “Look mum every car has a bike on it and the camp ground is full, hasn’t Derby been clever putting in the mountain bike track, GT needs to do something like that”. He’s right. Derby chose not to die but to recreate itself in a way that supports the entire community. With this in mind I asked my other son what he thought could be a draw card for GT, his response was to utilise Curries River Dam and Mt George to create a water sport training facility similar to the Penrith White Water Stadium that would pull paddlers in from all over the world to the gateway to the wilderness. One good idea that creates employment, community stability and a sense of community pride could be all it takes to change the dynamics and the barriers that children and families are facing. Give children a real voice not a pretend one.

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salglad - I agree kmiller, being authentic in our approach and really listening to families voices is the key, their disengagement often stems from many times when they have been asked about heir ideas and aspirations and then nothing ever eventuates. It dis-empowers communities.

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PDSStaff - Breakfast Club works. We need more money for uniforms.

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PDSStaff - Breakfast Club creates positive interactions first thing in the morning. It is a healthy start, setting students up for success. It is constant so students can attend every day and know who and what to expect.

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PDSStaff - Having a Student Networker enables us to liaise more easily with the community.

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PDSStaff - What else is needed? - Parental support regarding financial management and budgeting, as well as positive ways to control student behaviour. Timetable/routine support to assist students organise themselves prior to school eg wake, breakfast shower dress. Drug education. Intervention programs to prevent Child Protection as next step.

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PDSStaff - Our breakfast program is critical to some student’s well-being and learning. What else is needed? – Extend it to other parts of the day.

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PDSStaff - What else is needed? – Programs to develop financial awareness amongst community and students.

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PDSStaff - What currently works well – DRUMBEAT, Rock School, Equine, Boat Shed – These programs are seen by the students as enjoyable activities that they want to engage in. The students participate in these programs and gain confidence which leads to greater participation in class.

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PDSStaff - Programs such as DRUMBEAT has taught and enabled students to listen and act in concert with others. I have seen my students benefit in terms of ability and willingness to interact with others.

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PDSStaff - Flexibility to offer tailored programs to quite a large proportion of our students.

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PDSStaff - What is currently working - The Hub. School Nurses that help a huge amount with following up issues. Rock School because is bridges a gap for students over the holiday break. Cultural Art, DRUMBEAT, Equestrian and Boat Shed because they keep students engaged at school.

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PDSStaff - What else is needed? – More time for School Nurses in each school. Continued support for a variety of programs that are vital to encourage participation and community involvement.

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Flip15 - A youth worker used to be employed by GT Council with great connections and outcomes. The Youth Networker at PDS offers fabulous programs and many positive connections for young people, e.g. Rock School, Cultural Arts programs. Connections with the youth and community have really supported families and the community. It should be a full time position.

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Sports, Music, Dance lessons/groups available locally at a reasonable price. Activities outside of school hours and on weekends

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RavenswoodCommunityM - More free community events

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RavenswoodCommunityM - More stay and plays

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Outreach youth mentor for primary and high school children to help link them to programs, support and back to school. And to give the children a voice.

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Free or cheap trips for all families

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Outreach - Stay & Play

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Parent Support

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RavenswoodCommunityM - More after school sports that are run well with parent support

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RavenswoodCommunityM - *Having outreach for the families that don't have contact or cant have contact with people due to e.g. mental health, anxiety, depression

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RavenswoodCommunityM - *Active after school events e.g. Auskick, art, drama

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RavenswoodCommunityM - *Breakfast club at school *Outreach for families *Second bite

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