Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Specialised playgroups for 2400 Indigenous children

During NAIDOC week, the Australian Government has announced the locations for 20 specialised playgroups to be established in 20 regional and remote Indigenous communities across Australia delivering a range of activities to around 2400 children, as part of a $5 million package.

This includes $2 million for four mobile playgroups to support isolated and disadvantaged families.

They will be run out of Halls Creek in Western Australia, Kowanyama in Queensland, Newcastle in New South Wales and Murray Bridge in South Australia.

Playgroups provide important opportunities for parents to establish social and support networks to assist them in parenting. Providing specialised playgroups in regional, rural and remote areas builds on the Government’s commitment to improve the lives of Indigenous children.

The new mobile playgroups are a flexible way for children in regional and remote areas to participate in a range of fun activities including music and singing, imaginative play, art and craft activities, word games, story reading, and outdoor and free play.

The playgroups can operate with little or no infrastructure and carry as much equipment as possible in their vehicles which are funded as part of the initiative.

This includes playgroup equipment such as books, games, activities, toys, dress up clothes, playdough, paints and sports equipment, as well as shade equipment and rugs for children to sit and play on.

Two early childhood workers run each playgroup and encourage parent involvement in playgroup activities, while a family support worker provides links with community services.

Sixteen supported playgroups are also being established in specific locations in each state and territory to help provide information and support to Indigenous families.

These new playgroups will be located in places where early childhood workers can encourage families to integrate with other community services such as child care, pre schools and community health centres.

Locational Supported Playgroups

State/Territory Location
Western Australia Warburton
Queensland Woorabinda
Lockhart River
Northern Territory Ngukurr
New South Wales Orange
South Australia Whyalla
Victoria Bairnsdale
ACT Narrabundah
Tasmania Smithton