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Bridge Youth celebrating kinder for Children’s Week

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Pam Kiriakidis
Pam Kiriakidis
Pam Kiriakidis has worked as a journalist at the North Central Review since 2022, with a particular focus on the City of Whittlesea and stories for the Whittlesea Review. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Media and Communications majoring in journalism and focuses on politics, community, and health with the occasional niche sports story finding its way in front of her.

By Pam Kiriakidis

Groups of kindergarten children and staff interacted in cultural and social activities at The Bridge Youth Service in Wallan for national annual Children’s Week celebrations last Tuesday.

Family Care Wallan and The Bridge Youth Service partnered to celebrate children, specifically three and four-year-olds from Journey Early Learning, Wallan who are neighbours of the centre.

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The Department of Education supported the alliance with a Children’s Week grant to help host the activity.

Wallan Country Fire Authority, The Animals of the Magical Mountain and Snake Safe Victoria entertained children with face painting, Indigenous painting and native animals.

Donations from local chemists and Bunnings Warehouse supported the event with food and raffles.

The Bridge Youth Service integrated family services worker Caroline Tracy, who works with the hub’s young pregnant and parents team, said children were thrilled to be part of activities that helped build social skills.

“They all loved every activity, like there was a line-up for every activity,” she said.

“We had some cultural activities today, so we did that on purpose to have native animals as well, so we’ve got all Australian animals here.”

Ms Tracy said Children’s Week was an example of the work The Bridge Youth Service and Family Care undertook throughout the year, helping vulnerable families and children by hosting programs and events.

“What we and Family Care do [is] work with a lot of vulnerable families. Celebrating children is something we do every day,” she said.

“To have all the community come together and have a bit of fun during those hard times, especially since we’ve just had the floods, it’s lovely to be able to share.”

Family Care parenting services coordinator Rowena Exell said social and cultural activities allowed children to develop an early understanding of and respect for Indigenous culture.

“I thought all of them were just so respectful already, and I think respect is the number one thing to learn when you’re in a group of people, so you know manners saying please and thank you.”

For more information on Family Care or The Bridge Youth Services people can visit familycare.net.au and thebridge.org.au.

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