Our Partnership has a range of priorities it is championing. Some of these have led to new initiatives in our region.
Read about some of these projects below.
The Wimmera Southern Mallee (WSM) Regional Partnership Early Years Project is now up and running and aims to streamline and coordinate services supporting young children and their families in the WSM region.
The project came directly out of the Regional Partnership process, with the Partnership hearing from the community in 2016 the need to improve early years service delivery in the region where communities are often small and dispersed.
That message was taken to the Victorian Government and the Partnership was thrilled when the Premier announced support for the initiative at the 2017 Assembly.
Since then, the Partnership, along with the Department of Education and Training (DET), has been working hard to bring the initiative to life.
The project aims to explore and provide the very best early years learning experience for children in a regional, rural and remote setting and is aligned to DET's Early Years Reform agenda. The project involves testing new ideas and ways of operating within a place-based context.
Sixteen communities across the Wimmera and Southern Mallee nominated to take part in the initiative. The communities, grouped in six geographic clusters, have a designated Project Coordinator supporting and guiding the project, along with Murdoch Children's Research Institute assisting with the review and redesign of systems and programs informed by parents, practitioners and leaders to better meet the needs of children and families in their communities.
Each Cluster has a specific project focus with, for example, the West Wimmera Cluster focusing on improvements in School Readiness; the Yarriambiack Cluster looking at Engaging Vulnerable Families to Close the Gap; the Horsham Cluster looking at Teen Pregnancy support and engagement; while the Northern Grampians Cluster is looking at Establishing Long Day Care.
The results of the trials in this region may then be used to inform policy changes across other regional and rural parts of the state.