We Grow Them Up – East Arnhem Forum

Anglicare NT’s East Arnhem Communities for Children program hosted the We Grow Them Up Learning Forum in Nhulunbuy last week to showcase the work organisations are doing in the region to support children and families. Community Partners, service providers, community workers and parents shared learnings about remote community playgroups, early childhood learning, children and family services and community capacity building.

“It is a privilege to be able to bring people from across East Arnhem together to focus on what is going well for children and their families, and what we can learn from each other,” said Anglicare NT CEO Dave Pugh.

The forum gave people the opportunity to promote culturally appropriate resources and practices. East Arnhem Communities for Children staff presented on the Play and Learn Support Program and Resource which is used in communities to facilitate conversations about strong parenting. The resource uses a bi-cultural approach to promote understanding and exploration of child development pathways, neural development and parenting practices.

Local Indigenous staff from across multiple programs shared how they engage caregivers and their children in regular, culturally meaningful, play-based developmental activities including craft, stories and songs in both English and the children’s first language.

“People particularly enjoyed the Marrma’ Rom Dhawu – two worlds, two cultures stories – where small groups presented examples of effective practice in early childhood development or were introduced to new resources from different services in an interactive setting,” said Camilla Krauze, Initiatives Manager East Arnhem Children’s Services.

Services represented at the forum included Family as First Teachers, National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN), NT Libraries, FAST NT, Miwatj Aboriginal Health Corporation and East Arnhem Regional Council – who deliver several programs in the region including a nutrition and wellbeing program, a family skills facilitator service and the Growing Up Strong Kids program in Gapuwiyak.

The We Grow Them Up Learning Forum is an initiative of Anglicare NT; the East Arnhem region Facilitating Partner of the Communities for Children program funded by the Australian Government.