Paint the West REaD Community wellbeing and engagement to improve a child’s first 1000 days of life through attachment, literacy, learning and school engagement in areas of significant childhood developmental vulnerabilities. Using AEDC data, collective impact models and results-based assessment methodologies in community development.

Ms Maggie Mccabe1

1Department Of Human Services, Taperoo, Australia

Using AEDC data and community engagement strategies, two inner west Children’s Centres based in the Parks and Woodville Gardens piloted a multi stakeholder project based on a national literacy model called Paint the Town REaD. The initial collective launched and branded this project Paint the Parks and Gardens REaD during 2015.

This project produced a high level of positive community engagement and participation. During 2017 this project attracted Wellbeing and Learning for Life funding from the Department for Education to extend this model, resulting in another project branded Paint the West Side REaD. This additional project included three more Children’s Centres and relevant stakeholders aiming to respond to children’s high vulnerability in social competencies, communication skills and general knowledge across Adelaide’s western suburbs. Together these two projects are known as Paint the Inner West REaD and are designed to be far reaching across different local government areas while responding to significant childhood and community vulnerabilities

This quirky project is easily consumed by children and communities through its fun visual and conceptual design. Paint the Inner West REaD works with Childcare and Pre School Directors, Libraries, and playgroups to host the program’s ‘reading egg’. This egg signifies a child’s need of having someone to read, draw, dance, sing, talk and be a part of storytelling with them, so that they may grow. The project promotion includes merchandise, community book launches and swaps, two community reading mascots: ‘Parker the Pelican’ from the Parks and Gardens, and the West Side’s Lizzie the Literacy Lizard. This project has been successful in tracking how our children’s vulnerabilities are faring with the use of AEDC Data and, assisting the Department for Education, the Department of Human Services, Communities for Children and Uniting SA workers with their collective approach toward sustaining better outcomes for our kids.


Maggie McCabe is a Community Development Coordinator within the Safer Families Services Program and has worked on this project with Carlye Bowden, Briana Green and the Parks Children’s Centre Director Dianne Krieg. Maggie illustrated four children’s books created for this project about Parker the Pelican and his friends Max and Bruce, written by Dianne Krieg. Maggie has a Bachelor of Visual Arts (honors) from the University of South Australia and a post graduate certificate in Management from the University of South Australia.