Latest news

Intereach Reconciliation Action Plan launch

Intereach is inviting community members to join with staff in launching the organisation’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2018 to 2020, as part of National Reconciliation Week.

The launch of the plan is the culmination of 12 months’ work from our Executive and Community Engagement and Capacity Development teams, working in partnership with Reconciliation Australia. Reconciliation Australia was established in 2001 and is the lead body for reconciliation in the nation.

“We share Reconciliation Australia’s vision of national reconciliation, which is based on five critical dimensions: race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity, unity and historical acceptance,”  Intereach CEO Keryn Fox.

The launch is being held in the Intereach Neighbourhood Centre, on the corner of Napier and Trickett Sts, Deniliquin on Friday, May 31 from 11am-1pm and will include a Welcome to Country and a free barbecue ‘bush tucker’ lunch and refreshments. For more information or to RSVP, please contact our Community Engagement and Capacity Development Project Officer Guy Hussey on 1300 488 226, 0418 649 190 or guyh@intereach.com.au. RSVP closing date is May 28.

This is our second Reconciliation Action Plan, following on from the 2015 to 2017 plan which aimed to develop staff capacity in working with Aboriginal communities throughout the local area. The 2018 to 2020 plan continues with strengthening staff development but also focuses on developing existing community strengths about reconciliation in partnership with Aboriginal communities.

Caption: Intereach staff members Keryn Fox (left) and Mikayla Williams with a copy of the Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2018 to 2020.

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Celebrating Family Day Care Week in Deniliquin

Last week children, educators and families from the Deniliquin area celebrated National Family Day Care Week with a nature play session at Deniliquin’s Island Sanctuary.

The children enjoyed connecting with nature – climbing trees, balancing on logs, finding sticks, examining bugs and exploring their natural surroundings.

Those who attended also enjoyed a delicious morning tea.

 

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Swan Hill office open from today

Our new Swan Hill office is open to the public from 9am today (Monday, May 13).

We are located at 215 Campbell St, Swan Hill. Business hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. You can make an appointment to see a staff member by calling our toll free number, 1300 488 266.

Intereach is a not-for-profit community-based provider of services to regional, rural and remote communities throughout the Riverina Murray region of NSW and northern and central Victoria. Our staff work alongside children, families, older people, carers and people with a disability by providing information and support, delivering a range of services or linking people with another service that can better meet their needs.

Intereach partners with the National Disability Insurance Agency to deliver National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Local Area Coordination (LAC) and Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services in the NDIS Mallee service area of Victoria.

For more information on our services, call 1300 488 266 or visit www.intereach.com.au

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Celebrating Family Day Care Week in Echuca

This week children, educators and families from the Echuca area celebrated National Family Day Care Week with a natural play session at Banyule Forest.

The children enjoyed connecting with nature – climbing trees, balancing on logs, finding sticks, examining bugs and exploring their natural surroundings.

Those who attended also enjoyed a delicious morning tea.

 

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Popular park upgrades in Griffith

We’re proud to have played a part in the upgrade of two popular Griffith play parks last month.

A new playground, water bubbler, and table and shelter unit have been installed at Kubank Park for the local community to enjoy. At David Taylor Park, which is located off Heath Crescent, a shelter, seating and rubbish bin have been installed to complement the popular outdoor basketball court.

Intereach applied for and was successful in gaining the funding for the upgrades through the Family and Community Services (FACS) Social Housing Community Improvement Fund (SHCIF). The SHCIF aims to create better and stronger social housing communities by improving local amenities through the provision of one off grants to physically improve social housing communities or sites, or facilities and areas frequently used by social housing tenants.

Intereach Community Engagement and Capacity Development Project Officer Guy Hussey said both projects were completed with the aim of facilitating more interaction between local residents.

“We’re very grateful for the funding to be able to enhance what are both popular community meeting spaces,” he said.

“We’re also very grateful to the community members who helped us complete the Kubank Park project at a working bee last month, helping spread the mulch on the ground at the base of the new play equipment. We all enjoyed a barbecue after the working bee which was nice.”

FACS Estate Manegement Unit, Senior Project Officer Wendy McPherson said the NSW Government is committed to improving the liveability and amenity of social housing communities through the Social Housing Community Improvement Fund.

“The Department of Family and Community Services is proud to partner with Intereach, Griffith City Council and the Pioneer Core Action Group to support local projects like the Kubank and Dave Taylor Park upgrades.”

 

Photo caption: Intereach staff member Geraldine Higgins and FACS Project Officer Sherryn Hill at the upgraded Kubank Park.

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Milestone for dedicated Family Day Care educators

Intereach Family Day Care educators Melanie Griffin and Colleen Watson have been recognised for 15 years’ service. Intereach FDC offers personalised education and care from the educator’s home for children under the age of 13. Melanie, who is based in Tocumwal, initially started her family day care service because she loves children and it worked in well with having her own family. “I started out as a nanny but once I had my own children I needed something that worked in well with family life and this was the perfect option. It’s also helped teach my own kids values in regards to sharing and interacting with other children.

“I love being around the children – they make you laugh and there’s always something different every day.”

 

Melanie looks after children five days a week, with a lot of time spent outdoors. “I think it’s important for children to be outdoors having fun as opposed to sitting in front of a screen. We spend a lot of time outside or at the park, and the kids love it and so do I. I don’t think I could have an office job.”

Colleen is based in Jerilderie and has followed a similar career path to Melanie. She started as a nanny but changed to family day care when she became a mum herself. “I’d always worked with children and when I had my own family this fitted in so well with that, plus the town needed this service. I love seeing the children grow and develop their own unique personalities – and they thrive in a safe home care environment. We have a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities, and we do reading, craft and music. We also do plenty of community visits – when there’s a community event on we try to go along.” Colleen cares for children five days a week and she said the flexibility family day care offers is an advantage.

“We’re flexible to parents’ needs and try to be as accommodating as possible. We try to help out where we can if parents need an early drop-off or late pick-up.”

Both Melanie and Colleen praised Intereach Family Day Care for its support throughout the 15 years. “Intereach is very supportive and great to work with,” Melanie said.

“I couldn’t speak more highly of Intereach Family Day Care and their staff – they’re very supportive and nothing is ever an issue and they’re great with communicating with parents,” Colleen added.

In the southern Riverina, Intereach FDC partners with 12 educators to deliver high quality education and care in Barooga, Berrigan, Finley, Jerilderie and Tocumwal. For more information on Intereach FDC services, contact Intereach FDC nominated supervisor Bec Fitzpatrick on 1300 488 226 during business hours.

          

Both Melanie Griffin and Colleen Watson were recognised for 15 years’ service as Intereach Family Day Care educators.

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The Resilience Project comes to Hay

Intereach and the Commonwealth Bank have joined forces to bring The Resilience Project to Hay in June.

A free session will be held at the Spirit of ANZAC Centre, open to parents and community members, on June 11 at 7pm.

Intereach CEO Keryn Fox said presenter and former AFL footballer Martin Heppel would lead the session, which was focused around three key themes – gratitude, empathy and mindfulness (GEM).

The Resilience Project delivers emotionally engaging programs to schools, sports clubs and businesses, providing practical, evidence-based, positive mental health strategies to build resilience and happiness.

Learn more at theresilienceproject.com.au.

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Family Fun Challenge

To celebrate Families Week (15th – 21st May) we are encouraging family members to have fun with each other, get outside but also make the most of being indoors with our Family Fun Challenge

The family who completes the most family fun activities from the list below and adds at least three of their own will receive a Gift Basket full of goodies to enjoy!

Families will be required to photograph each activity they complete and email them to Sylvia Munson (sylviam@intereach.com.au) by the end of May to be considered for the prize.

The  theme this year is ‘Stronger Families, Stronger Communities’

Family Fun Challenge activities:

  • Hold a family talent quest, rehearse, plan, invite
  • Have a family games day/night or play a card game – UNO, Snap etc…
  • Learn a new game from the internet
  • Choose a theme for dinner and dress up (or just dress up for a bit of fun!)
  • Let the kids cook dinner
  • Do some baking together and take some to a neighbour or friend
  • Go for a picnic and explore nature while you’re there
  • Have a treasure hunt in the back yard
  • Try to take a pet portrait – trying to get a picture of the cat or dog could take hours!
  • Make an indoor obstacle course
  • Pretend that you are a spy and write secret messages
  • Make music with whatever instruments you have; grab a tambourine and shake it along to your favourite song
  • Make old socks into puppets and put on a show
  • Have an indoor picnic
  • Make your own playdough
  • Play hide and seek in the day and in the dark with a torch
  • Do a jigsaw puzzle
  • Visit the library for the morning and find books on a new subject
  • Have a room tidying contest to see who can tidy their room the fastest
  • Make your own soup can bowling set or plastic bottle bowling set
  • Keep balloons in the air from one end of the house to the other, tapping gently
  • Play ‘I-Spy’
  • Play ‘Duck Duck Goose’
  • Act out your children’s favourite books
  • Have a catch in a local park or the backyard
  • Make marshmallow structures
  • Make string telephones with strings and cans and take the fun outside
  • Build an indoor tent or fort with couches and some bed sheets
  • Build card towers with old birthday/Christmas cards
  • Indoor scavenger hunt
  • Use masking tape to create roadways on the floor and create neighbourhoods
  • Make homemade greeting cards
  • Do some artwork outside on easels
  • Research a new country’s cuisine and try it out
  • Make your own bread
  • Have a movie marathon
  • Make a family movie
  • Have a dance party
  • Play dress ups and act out scenes in the new outfits
  • Find some trees to climb
  • Have a back yard toy car wash & then wash the real car together
  • Have a bonfire/firepit and toast marshmallows & sing-along
  • Play French cricket
  • Clean out your toys and donate to charity
  • Clean out your cupboard and donate to charity
  • Have a vegie planting/gardening day
  • Go on a photo scavenger hunt – get a pic for every letter of the alphabet, inside one day, outside the next.
  • Play ‘Follow the Leader’, taking it in turns
  • Gather the family to enjoy a story podcast
  • Write some letters to out of town relatives or friends
  • Make a marshmallow catapult and see who can catch the most in their mouth
  • Pull out the building blocks and Lego and create a mini city
  • Bake simple salt-dough ornaments and then paint them, use whatever cookie cutter shapes you have available
  • Challenge each other to a game of charades
  • Get all dressed up and host your own fancy tea party (be sure to invite the dolls and stuffed animals)
  • Use hallways for classic games like ‘Red Light, Green Light’ and ‘Leap Frog’
  • Have an indoor ‘camp out’ with sleeping bags, a tent, and board games
  • Plan a three course dinner and all family members get involved to prepare a course
  • Take it in turns doing each other’s hobbies
  • Go on a bug hunt with jars and a magnifying glass – draw what you find
  • Paint some rocks and drop them in public gardens for people to find
  • Go for a park trek to a few different parks, after making a map and planning the stops
  • Get wet, dirty and messy with your kids in the backyard and make mud pies
  • Go to the park and collect autumn leaves, roll in them, stick them on paper, decorate the window with them
  • Take the children to the museum
  • Do a town walk and talk about all the old buildings/read the plaques.
  • Take a ball to the footy oval and have a kick
  • Go lie on a blanket under a cloudy sky and find all the shapes.
  • Write a family story together or create a family tree
  • Have a sunset picnic
  • Have a reading marathon – create a list of 20 books and get them all read!
  • Get up early, pack breakfast, and have a sunrise breakfast
  • Go to a public place, ‘people watch’, and make up imaginary stories about people
  • Play freeze tag or dance freeze
  • Have a crazy science day – one experiment for each family member
  • Learn magic tricks
  • Create a family book, with information and pictures about each family member
  • Make up trivia questions about each other
  • Play in the rain
  • Take turns saying and learning tongue twisters or poems
  • Learn and tell each other jokes
  • Learn to juggle
  • Build paper airplanes and have a flying contest
  • Go bird watching
  • Visit the fire station
  • Learn a new language – free lessons online
  • Star gazing on blankets at night – get the constellation app
  • Look through old photo albums or create a new one
  • Exercise together
  • Makeover their rooms, clean out, rearrange
  • Style days – spas, nails, hairdos
  • Favourite memory days – share memories and turn them into a scrapbook
  • Play school, shop or office together
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Family Day Care Week celebrations in Deni and Echuca

Intereach will celebrate National Family Day Care Week, which runs from May 6 to 12 this year.

National FDC Week is about recognising and promoting the important role family day care educators and services play in the development and wellbeing of more than 155,000 children across Australia. Intereach Family Day Care will host a ‘bush play session’ in Echuca’s Banyule State Forest and a ‘nature play session’ in Deniliquin’s Island Sanctuary, both on Tuesday, May 7. Community members are invited to both events, which include a free morning tea. Intereach FDC nominated supervisor Bec Fitzpatrick said the nature-based play sessions will celebrate the many benefits of children playing freely outdoors. “Nature play helps children to be more active, resilient, creative and self-risk assess in their approach to play, thinking and problem solving, that’s why we wanted to hold both events outdoors in such beautiful, natural settings.”

Intereach partners with more than 50 educators to deliver high quality education and care in Deniliquin, Finley, Jerilderie, Berrigan, Tocumwal, Nanneella, Tennyson, Echuca, Moama, Rochester, Swan Hill and Kerang. Mrs Fitzpatrick said Intereach is a trusted organisation that offers personalised childcare from the educator’s home. FDC is available for babies and children under the age of 13.

“The best thing about our service is the small group care which focuses on forming quality relationships. Families choose the educator and care environment that best suits their needs.”

“We also offer extended and flexible childcare hours – care can be arranged on weekends, school holidays, overnight and before and after school.”

In the past 12 months, Intereach has again met the National Quality Standards for childcare services, in both Victoria and NSW. The organisation’s most recent National Standards assessment was in January 2019 for its Victorian service, while the NSW assessment was completed in June last year. “With significant changes to the National Quality Standards which came into effect in February 2018 this is a testament to the ongoing commitment to quality in all aspects of our services by educators and our staff,” Mrs Fitzpatrick said.

National Quality Standards set a national benchmark for the quality of education and care service and includes seven quality areas that are important to children: Educational Program and Practice; Health and Safety; Physical Environment; Staffing Arrangements; Relationships with Children; Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities; and Governance and Leadership.

Echuca FDC educator Sandra Sanderson said being an Intereach educator has given her some wonderful opportunities to share enjoyable learning experiences with the children and families.

“Family day care allows me flexibility to develop networks with the local community, and with parental permission we’re able to get out and about, learning from our diverse community which helps the children’s social awareness.”

Deniliquin-based FDC educator Lynda Grimison said she is grateful for her partnership with Intereach. “To have the supports provided by Intereach makes my job of creating a caring and nurturing environment for the children so much easier.”

Intereach will mark National FDC Week in Deni’s picturesque Island Sanctuary on May 7. Those attending are asked to meet at the Sanctuary’s side gates located near the mini rail on Memorial Park Drive at 10am.

Those attending the Echuca event are asked to meet at the Taras Hotel at 10am before travelling to the location.

For more information on FDC services or the morning tea, contact Mrs Fitzpatrick at Intereach on 1300 488 226.

 

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