With the shortage of early childhood education services throughout the Pilbara, BHP and Child Australia have partnered to develop a sustainable workforce strategy for the local sector.
Child Australia is a not for profit organisation and a leading provider of professional development and support for the education sector in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Child Australia’s purpose is to develop the capacity of professionals working with children, families, and the community to support children’s wellbeing, learning and development.
Child Australia’s Work in the Pilbara
Child Australia has over 30 years history in providing exemplary services to regional and remote communities throughout Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Our extensive work throughout remote communities in the NT draws many parallels to the challenges we face in service delivery throughout the Pilbara, and as such we have many learnings from which to draw upon.
Prior to our current on-ground programs, Child Australia partnered with Regional Development Australia (RDA) Pilbara, the Australian Government Department of Social Services, Pilbara Regional Domestic Violence Council, and the Shire of Roebourne to deliver the West Pilbara Communities for Children (WPC4C) initiative.
For close to 20 years, Child Australia, formerly known as RUCSN (Resource Unit for Children with Special Needs) delivered the Inclusion and Professional Support Program as the WA Professional Support Coordinator and an Inclusion Support Agency (ISA) for the Australian Government Department of Education. Funding of this program was removed via the IPSP Closure and Transition in July 2016. Child Australia implemented the IPSP state-wide and held offices throughout WA including Karratha and South Hedland. Child Australia still occupies an office at South Hedland Lotteries House.
In 2015 Child Australia was contracted by WA Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) to develop Regional Children Services Plans (RCSP) and Implementation Reports for two WA regions. Child Australia was a member of the Regional Community Child Care Reference Group in which we provided guidance and input into key outcomes, strategic directions and identify opportunities to build regional capacity.
Currently in its ninth year, WPMCS continue to deliver a play-based learning program built around the Early Years Learning Frameworks to children and families living in South Hedland and remote indigenous communities in the Pilbara that have limited access to early childhood education and care.
This voluntary home-based enrichment program funded through the Australian Government Department of Social Services, is a two-year, early learning and parenting program for families with young children aged four and five in Hedland and heads into its fourth year of support to the region.
WPMCS & HIPPY Hedland support isolated Indigenous Pilbara Communities and Port & South Hedland:
- Strelley Station Indigenous Community School
- Yandeyarra Community
- Warralong Community
- South Hedland Town Square
- Port Hedland
- Marble Bar