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Kath Dickson Family Centre

Serving, protecting and empowering families since 1975

serving, protecting and empowering families since 1975serving, protecting and empowering families since 1975

Kath Dickson Family Centre Blog

Dalby youngsters can experience kindy for a morning

Samfya Smith - Monday, June 19, 2017
Snow White KindergartenThe first day of kindy can be a daunting prospect for some children, so our kindergarten in Dalby has come up with a solution. 

Snow White Kindergarten is offering children the opportunity to experience a morning at kindy at their upcoming open day on Tuesday 20 June.

“We are opening up the Centre for any interested parents to bring their children for a two hour session to find out how much fun kindy really is”, said Snow White Kindergarten Director Megann Rummell.

“Children will follow a normal morning routine of 'good morning' and acknowledgement of country on the mat, followed by a range of play experiences including playdough, threading, painting, home corner play and block construction, followed by story time and morning tea.

“It’s a great way for children to feel comfortable before they start, but also for parents to gain an insight into the structure and the benefits of the Kindergarten program.”

While the focus is very much on play, Megann explains there is a lot more to the Kindergarten program than may appear to the casual observer.

“We carefully plan our daily learning experiences around the needs, interests and abilities of each child, and support them in all areas of their development, including fine and gross motor skills, cognitive skills as well as social and emotional awareness”, said Megann.

Snow White Kindergarten, now a division of the Kath Dickson Family Centre, has been a feature of the Dalby community for decades.

“Our Educators are all fully qualified, caring, passionate people who have been educating children with over 15 years worth of experience each.

“We understand that each child comes to us with their own experiences and knowledge and it is our role, as educators, to help them to explore their world and understandings further, to explore, investigate and make new discoveries.

“It is a responsibility we take very seriously…but fortunately it’s a role we absolutely love!”

To join ‘kindy for a morning’ at Snow White Kindergarten on Tuesday 20 June 2017, 9am-11am, call Megann Rummell on 07 4662 1078 or email mrummell@kdfc.com.au

Snow White Kindergarten is located at 129 Bunya Street, Dalby and is affiliated with the Creche and Kindergarten Association.

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Dream altogether with Kim Walmsley

Samfya Smith - Thursday, June 15, 2017

Our Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs and author of the Bareibunn Karulbo strategy, Kim Walmsley, shares her story...

The totem of Kim Walmsley"When I was offered the role of Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs for Kath Dickson Family Centre, I was humbled. 

"I knew the opportunity to contribute and participate in something so significant as developing and implementing a strategy such as Bareibunn Karulbo was a great opportunity. 

"I am a mother and grandmother and truly appreciate the value of education. This drives me to plant seeds for future generations in re-discovering a new purpose with soul. 

"As a woman of culture, my strengths and experiences enable me to acknowledge, appreciate and understand 'Closing the Gap’ alongside many other government documents and research that shares with us the negative statistics and behavioural issues that plague our cultures. 

"No matter what the industry, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people work in, we have the undeniable quality of being Aboriginal, and cultural protocol is our born qualification.  

"I know and understand the suffering and burden of my peoples past, present and future and the strong desire and need to contribute to the change in current standards. The oldest continuing culture in the world is learning to adjust to embracing the future as a diverse network of peoples slowly gaining and rebuilding identities. 

"As a descendant of the Mununjali people of Beaudesert and Wiradjuri people of NSW, I am responsible not just for my Directorship of a new outlook for Kath Dickson Family Centre. I am responsible for being appropriate and inclusive of all. To be culturally respectful to our elders, clans, peers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians is important to me as a human. 

"I am indeed proud to be able to contribute to the change as each priority element plays a significant part in the development of accessing and providing opportunities that are relevant, realistic and practical for the local people, in utilising the National Quality Framework and the Early Years Learning Framework to create active lifelong learners. 

"Understanding that a majority of urban Indigenous Communities are not of the Traditional owners, it can be an interwoven cloak made of kangaroo and snake skins, emu feathers and echidna quills, turtle shells and eagle feathers. These are totems representing only a few tribes that are unique and diverse within our own culture. We are ‘One Culture, Many Nations’. 

"A new generation is coming through and we have to be ready to teach, listen and learn in order to grow and pass the strong message of valuing education to inspire new generations.

"Throughout the other regions, Bareibunn Karulbo will be utilised as a foundational document that can inspire each community to develop their own dreams. So we can all dream together with the commonality in promoting, strong relationships, high education aspirations and determination."

Kim Walmsley

Descendant of the Mununjali people of Beaudesert and the Wiradjuri People of NSW
Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs, Kath Dickson Family Centre

The waratah (pictured) is a totem of Kim's.

Kath Dickson Family Centre to focus on Closing the Gap

Amy Dampney - Thursday, June 08, 2017

Kim Walmsley (left) from Kath Dickson Family CentreThe Kath Dickson Family Centre will announce a bold change in their strategic direction today, with the launch of the Bareibunn Karulbo Strategy.

Translating to mean ‘Dream Together’, the Strategy articulates an organisational-wide approach for working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to Close the Gap.

Chairman of the Kath Dickson Family Centre Board, Dr Craig Russell, said the strategic decision fulfils the organisation’s original charter to serve and protect children and families within our community who are disadvantaged or at risk.

“Aboriginal people are well behind in all health and most education indicators, so we felt like we needed to focus on the whole family – look at how they fit into society and helping them with their wellbeing,” Dr Russell explained.

“If you want to improve the health status and employability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people then you have to focus on education. You’ve got to start when the children are 2-3 years of age – we want them to see education as their birthright.”

Dr Russell said a key part of the strategy is to work collaboratively with existing service providers, including Kulila Kindergarten and Carbal Medical Centre.

“The approach we have taken is to compliment their services in helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – get in there and supplement their resources,” Dr Russell explained. 

“Nothing is going to be a quick fix – we are going to be need 20-30 years. But I have this feeling in this community that we are at a turning point, and I hope that the work we’re doing at Kath Dickson is going to help turn things around.”

Kath Dickson Family Centre Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jude Mills, said the Strategy aims to improve and Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander outcomes across four main areas: early childhood education, communtiy engagement, cultural understanding and training and employment.

“This is our main focus for the next five years. As a not-for-profit organization we do not have deep pockets, but are prepared to commit to this action plan with every cent we have,” Jude said. 

“The Bareibunn Karulbo Strategy is something we can be proud of and we are hopeful that we will gain support from benefactors, as well as the government sector, to ensure this plan is successful.”

Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs at Kath Dickson Family Centre, Kim Walmsley (pictured), said she believes the Strategy will build capability in individuals and families by encouraging them to realise their untapped potential.

“It’s about discovering that we can be successful and happy even if the goals are small to begin with or our numeracy and literacy is not up to scratch,” Kim explained.

“It’s empowering people through consistent, constructive and positive relationships that can inevitably gain confidence to expand minds and hearts for future generations.”

A descendant of the Mununjli people of Beaudesert and the Wiradjuri People of New South Wales, Kim believes a key part of the strategy is giving Indigenous people permission to be proud of their culture. 

“We have started running playgroups for Indigenous children that are culturally based – getting back to yarning circles which is what we have been going for thousands of years,” Kim explained.

“We need to rebuild ourselves in a strong way. We need to empower ourselves. I don’t want to be sitting here in 10 or 20 years time and be saying that the gap is still here. We need to be more proactive and together.”

No-cost certificate training for parents, free transport to kindergarten, counselling and a friendship club to create bridges of understanding are also initiatives explored in the Strategy.

“Bareibunn Karulbo is the spark that will ignite a new generation of lifelong learners in walking together in conciliation. We don’t see this as a five year plan, but a forever plan that will get stronger with age,” Kim said. 

For more information, contact Kim Walmsley on 07 4633 8400 or kwalmsley@kdfc.com.au