Village partners

Village works collaboratively
for collective impact.

Our members are:

We believe that together with and through you, we can create, develop and grow a community where everyone is included, connected, respected and truly cared for. Michael Nurmi (Acting CEO, UnitingCare Kippax)

ARACY is a national systems intermediary committed to bringing people and knowledge together to improve outcomes for young Australians. Our work has a national focus and includes convening the Early Childhood Impact Alliance, co-chairing the Australian Early Years Catalyst and implementing the right@home sustained nurse home visiting program and the Common Approach. As a Canberra-based organisation, ARACY is passionate about working locally to ensure the best possible outcomes for all children and young people in the ACT. We see our involvement in A Village for Every Child as one way to put our knowledge and expertise in the hands of local initiatives and local practitioners. Penny Dakin (CEO, ARACY)

I have been involved in the Village for Every Child initiative since its
inception and am passionate about working together with the
community to achieve the best possible outcomes for every child. The Village is an important initiative that will contribute to the ACT
Government’s objectives under Set up for Success: An Early Childhood Strategy for the ACT. Every child deserves the best start at life. By working together across government and community partners, we can help support this goal. As Executive Branch Manager for Strategic Policy in the ACT Education Directorate, I bring a connection with government priorities and provide a conduit for the Village to express this important work across the education and early childhood education and care system. Nicole Moore (Executive Branch Manager Strategic Policy – Education Directorate)

ACT Playgroups is not-for-profit organisation supporting playgroups and providing playgroup services to families with young children across the ACT. We have been doing so for over 40 years, with over 250 playgroups and 3,500 families accessing playgroup each year.

At Playgroups ACT, we value:

  • Parenting and a welcoming and supportive environment that affirms the relationships between children and care givers.
  • Learning through play and creativity.
  • Children, care givers and families and the formation of friendships.
  • Opportunities for sharing information to achieve balance in family lives.
  • Diversity, equity, access, and participation.
  • Health, safety, and acceptance of all.
  • Quality, best practice and affordability of services.
  • Community awareness of ACT Playgroups.

At Playgroups ACT, we feel the objectives of A Village For Every Child are inextricably linked to those of ACT Playgroups and we value being a partner of the initiative and further supporting families in the ACT. Carley Jones (Executive Officer – Playgroups ACT)

Capital Region Community Services (CRCS) is a regional community
service formed by the people of Belconnen and incorporated in 1975.
CRCS provides a wide range of high quality, integrated and inclusive
programs and services to individuals, families, children and young
people in the Belconnen and wider Capital Region. CRCS works with
community members, local organisations and businesses to develop
responsive programs, services and activities that support self-
determination and reduce social isolation. Strong relationships with
government and other community services enhance CRCS’s capacity to achieve our vision of an inclusive, connected community. Mandy Green (CEO – Capital Region Community Services)

Raising thriving, healthy children is an important job and building young brains takes work. All families need support to help children develop the skills they need. Good Start in Life is here to work with the Belconnen community to provide that support. Read more. Vicky Saunders (Project Manager – University of Canberra, A Good Start in Life)

From the start, our vision for Ginninderry has been to create a
sustainable community of international significance in the Capital
Region. By raising the bar for best practice in sustainability, design,
construction and innovation, we aim to create a world-class community that delivers an exceptional quality of life for Ginninderry residents. Ginninderry has been planned with an eye to the future. Around 30,000 people will one day make their home in this spectacular setting that extends across the ACT and NSW border. Consisting of 4 suburbs, the community will grow over 30 years, at the rate of three or four hundred homes a year, to an eventual total of 11,500 homes. Tulitha King (Community Development Manager – Ginninderry)

In my role in the Community Services Directorate, I support using data and evaluation to inform and improve delivery of client-centred
services to those who need them. We bring together information
across local, state and national datasets and reporting to build a picture of wellbeing for children and young people in the ACT. Working with the Village and being part of the collective impact is a great opportunity to help our local families to give every child the best start in life. This fits well with the Community Services vision, to empower people to meet their full potential and enable the development of inclusive and strong communities. Katrina Martin (Strategy & Projects Director, Strategic Policy – Community Service Directorate)

Libraries ACT (Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate)

Libraries and their staff are passionate about books, reading and seeing children experience the wonder of finding stories they love. Libraries ACT is committed to providing opportunities for parents and carers to access resources, programs, support and expertise to support their children’s language and literacy development. We’re really pleased to be part of this collaborative effort on behalf of the children of Belconnen, and Canberra. We’d love to see all these families visit the library with their children, from the time they’re born. As the children grow and learn to love stories we want to reach as many parents as possible so that we can, together, spark and support their children’s language and literacy growth. Vanessa Little (Executive Branch Manager – Libraries ACT)

Supporting children and families is one of the five priority areas of the ACT Government’s Healthy Canberra: ACT Preventive Health Plan 2020–2025, which aligns with the Village initiative’s commitment to supporting children and families to thrive in the first few years of life.

ACT Health supports the Village’s philosophy that by working together, the community is stronger, more connected and better placed to meet the needs of families and children. This aligns with the ACT Government’s focus on supporting the first 1000 days of life from conception to two years of age, through the Best Start for Canberra’s Children: First 1000 Days Framework, and the development of the First 1000 Days Action Plan.
The Preventive and Population Health Branch staff bring expertise in preventive health program and policy development to the Village initiative, with the aim of supporting all Canberrans to make healthy
lifestyle choices and to take the steps needed to prevent disease from early life onwards. Kristin Blume (Acting Executive Branch Manager and Preventive Health Coordinator – ACT Health)

Multicultural Hub Canberra is a leading provider of services for
migrants, refugees and asylum seekers and is part of a network of
Multicultural Centres in Canberra and across SE NSW including
Queanbeyan, Goulburn, Cooma and Bega.
Our passionate team of staff work closely with our clients across a
broad range of programs, including support for newly-arrived migrants and refugees, youth services, employment, women’s services, counselling services and more. Zakia Patel (Regional Managing Director – Multicultural Hub)

Families with young children (birth to 8 years) are welcome to call the Child and Family Centres (CFC) and talk with an experienced child and family worker about supports available if they have concerns about how they are coping during these challenging times. Parents and carers can also access a range of parenting groups and supports which are being offered via telephone and online platforms. Brian Mupangure (Centre Manager – West Belconnen Child and Family Centre)

UnitingCare Kippax (UCK)

We would like to acknowledge
all the hard work and dedication Meg has put into to the Village
initiative and thank her for her
continued support.

I’ve been involved in community services in one way or another for 40 years and in all that time one thing has become most apparent – the way we set people up for life in their first early years is absolutely critical to their long-term wellbeing, their ability to participate in the community and their capacity to contribute. So Belconnen – A Village for Every Child is for me a culmination of years of work. It’s the thing I think is most important in achieving positive change in people’s lives – we need to build and maintain an early years system that supports children, parents and families in a way that is easy to use and effective for a really wide range of people.  That can’t be done by any one organisation on its own. We absolutely have to work in partnership with other organisations and with the arms of Government that impact on children and families – we have to have a common understanding of what we’re trying to build and a common agreement on how all the things we do interact with and reinforce each other to keep that system working well. That early years system is the foundation stone for everything else and that’s why I care about it. Meg Richens (Former UnitingCare Kippax CEO and Chair of the Village Leadership Group)

UC collaboration

A Village for Every Child is working closely with the Good Start in Life for Young Children project. This research project aligns with our work and goals.

The Good Start project, coordinated by the University of Canberra, is looking at how and where interventions are provided to families and children.

While Village is looking at the whole system, the findings of the Good Start project will contribute to the information and data Village will gather to inform our strategic direction.

We are working to ensure that our work supports and informs the other and that it minimises overburdening organisations and individuals involved.

Village is represented on the Advisory Group for Good Start, while Good Start is represented on the Leadership Group for Village. There are a number of stakeholders who sit across both groups.