Doomadgee Close the Gap with three programs

SMILING FACE: Alfred Ned Jnr's smile says it all. Photo: Supplied

SMILING FACE: Alfred Ned Jnr's smile says it all. Photo: Supplied

Close the Gap day is on Thursday, March 15 and Doomadgee will be holding three programs in the area of early childhood.

Each program has a focus on early intervention and developmental milestones including child health checks and school readiness through integrated service delivery.

Centre Manager of the Dumaji Children and Family Centre, Lana O'Keefe said the first five years of a child's life is crucial to their development and can critically shape other outcomes through life.

“Save the Children delivers programs and services in Doomadgee to support Aboriginal children, giving them the best start in life,” Ms O’Keefe said. 

All the programs will be held at the Dumaji Children and Family Centre which is a community hub and integrated model of locally driven services for children, young people and families.

We run cultural and community events from the Centre including the Welcome to Country for Babies, Child Health Expo, NAIDOC activities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, Get Ready for School parties, Play2learn graduations, Elders’ Birthday parties and Boarding School Student Dinners.

We have a large local team who engage with children, young people and their families at the Centre and through outreach into the community and on Country. All of our programs and events aim to build local capacity and local level leadership supported by strong community governance.

Our early years programs includes Connected Beginnings, Ready Together, Early Childhood Development and School Transition and HIPPY.

These programmes are strengthening the integration of early childhood education, child and maternal health and family support services to Close the Gap in school readiness between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children.

These programs are building on the strengths of families with children aged 0–8 years to achieve a positive transition from home to early years services to school.

A highlight of our service delivery in 2017 were family camps focused on everywhere learning on Waanyi Country, including a program of early learning activities to support families to be ready for school in 2018.

Our programs develop the professional practice of our team and the local workforce in Doomadgee who work in the early childhood sector by facilitating access to professional development, parent workshops and by providing the resources to build local capacity and capability.

Our local team is committed to improving the foundations of children and improving early childhood developmental at the local level.

Our youth services include the Youth Development Program which delivers after school and school holiday activities and provides opportunities for young people in Doomadgee to host youth-focused events.

Our Youth Workers work in partnership with the Doomadgee State School to facilitate the Student Council to encourage young people to have a voice in their school community.

This program supports the Remote School Attendance Strategy by transporting children to school every day to increase school attendance.

Our Strong Culture Strong Tomorrow Program aims to reduce the over- representation of young people entering the youth justice system by providing cultural mentorship, family support and connectedness to culture and community.

We assist more children and families in Doomadgee to maintain safe and healthy homes through our Deadly Doomadgee Homes Program by providing education and awareness on the importance of environmental health for children to thrive.

This program delivers healthy cooking classes, garden competitions, cleaning demonstrations and workshops on community safety.

All of our programs are culturally strong and are supported by referral pathways to the local service system.