Ms Rebekah Pick1
1Mission Australia, Inala, Australia
In response to 2015 AEDC developmental vulnerability data, the Leichhardt Early Development Group was formed as a partnership of local stakeholders to work on projects focussed on children and families. The Leichhardt Early Development Group, a place-based response facilitated by Mission Australia, is guided by both Community Development and Collective Impact approaches.
In 2019, the group used AEDC data combined with local community insights to determine which AEDC domains to focus on as a driver for projects in the local area. Both communication and emotional maturity were prioritised as the most critical issues to address for the local community. The group then developed a broad goal based on the two domains – improving parental awareness of the importance of developing their child’s oral language and emotional maturity skills before they start school. Additionally the group decided upon a specific project focus of “developing a range of information and resources for families, focussed on oral language and emotional maturity, to be shared through local networks”.
To meet their project focus, the Leichhardt Early Development Group have been making a series of videos featuring local children and families to highlight the importance of key aspects of oral language development and emotional maturity (including celebrating first languages and transitioning to school). These videos have broadened the collective approach and now involve a partnership with the local high school film club who are responsible for editing the videos.
Whilst still a project in progress, key outcomes have included a strengthened collective approach within the LED; opportunities for local children and families to be part of a project aimed as empowering parents in bolstering the oral language and emotional maturity of their children; and an increase in positive parenting resources that are reflective of the local community.
Rebekah Pick is the Community Development and Collective Impact Facilitator in the Mission Australia Communities for Children (Ipswich to Inala) team. Rebekah facilitates five Collective Action Groups across the region – these groups pursue a planned and collaborative approach to achieving best outcomes for families and children (aged pre-birth to 12yrs). Each group develops projects based on AEDC data and local insights and includes projects focussed on the early years and beyond.