OUR NEWEST INITIATIVE IS HERE, AND NEW LEADERSHIP IS EMERGING.
I am thrilled to be joining the team at Go Goldfields on a more permanent basis having been granted extended leave from my role in State Government. We continue to work with the Central Goldfields community and our partners to foster a different approach to support children and families in the Shire.
A few months ago, the Go Goldfields Collaborative Table took time to reflect on the current environment, the most pressing issues facing the Central Goldfields community, and where collaborative, place-based action would make the biggest impact.
The overwhelming consensus was that our efforts need to be focussed entirely on our children and their families. Consequently, a refined strategic direction was endorsed and the ‘Every Child, Every Chance’ initiative was formed.
I am proud to formally introduce you to this new initiative.
‘Every Child, Every Chance’ aims to change the disadvantage story in Central Goldfields by utilising place-based, evidence-driven principles. The focussed approach offers significant potential for increasing the effectiveness of government investment and policy reform by applying local community informed context in design and implementation.
Importantly, this new activity is informed by our families who have told us they are seeking; community connections, a focus on early prevention rather than delaying to a point of crisis, better access and awareness of services available, options for less formal supports in the community, and services that are welcoming, flexible and understanding.
This approach acknowledges that no single Government, school, hospital, or social worker on their own can deliver the change we need – similarly it recognises that our communities require specialist support, shaped by our local context and the specific needs of our community.
The timing of this refined approach for Go Goldfields coincides with the finalisation of the ‘Restacking the Odds’ project led by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute that provides tools and indicators that focus on the early years. Having catalysed many constructive conversations with Government and service providers, the report has made an important contribution to our understanding of the quality, quantity, and participation levels needed to amplify the positive effects on child development outcomes.
The approach also complements recent State Government announcements of significant investment in children’s education including School Readiness Funding and additional funding for Central Goldfields Shire early learning centres to address disadvantage and access, as well as free three and four year-old kinder for 2021 onwards.
WE NEED TO WORK DIFFERENTLY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO THE LIVES OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES IN THE CENTRAL GOLDFIELDS SHIRE.
The ‘Every Child, Every Chance’ initiative, brings together community, business, government, and not-for-profit partners – in true Go Goldfields style – to ensure that every child in the Central Goldfields Shire has every chance to grow up safe, healthy, and confident.
The initiative comprises of 5 Priority Change Areas:
- Supported and Healthy Pregnancies –To support mothers and parents throughout pregnancy and to prepare for the changes a baby brings.
- Confident and Connected New Parents – To equip new parents and carers with the community network and access to services to help them with one of the most difficult but important jobs in the world.
- Safe and Secure Children – To nurture every child’s sense of self, ensure their safety from violence, and acknowledge their place in the community.
- Valued Early Years Education and Care – To promote the value and increase participation in early years education that builds curiosity, supports identity, and nurtures children’s social and emotional wellbeing.
- Great Start to School – To work together on pathways to school that nurture healthy, safe, and confident children
Because we know is that no single entity can deliver on the priority areas alone, we are working with our partners to determine Collaboration Leads to bring services, programs, and our community together as we begin preparations on the ‘Change Plan’ (more to come on this next blog!).
Recognising the maturity of Go Goldfields and the desire to strengthen our partnerships, the Collaborative Table itself is also undergoing some changes. Over the next few months, the Backbone team will support a transition to a Leadership Table with a newly appointed independent Chair. The Leadership Table will bring the support and influence of our partner organisations to:
- Provide leadership for better outcomes for children and families in the Shire
- Incorporate the skills, insight, and influence to place responsive decision making and advocacy
- Instigate actions which reflect research evidence and the local needs and context
- Enable local community participation in decisions, design, and delivery, and
- Ensure accountability to the Central Goldfields community through our ‘Change Plan’
In Central Goldfields we have an incredible opportunity to demonstrate how we can work differently with our community to make a difference.
I am looking forward to the journey.
Manager, Go Goldfields
Central Goldfields Shire, Victoria, Australia