This NAIDOC Week 2018, we remember, pay our respects to and thank the many many Aunties, colleagues and friends who have directed the building of Paint the Town READ, Black and Yellow across Australia. Thank you for your wisdom, love, forgiveness, laughter and patience as you have led and taught your non-Indigenous friends, for the sake of your children and grandchildren.
Follow us on Facebook this week as we reflect on and thank a representative group of these women from across Australia.
Aunty Booka – the mascot for Paint the Booka REaD hatched last Friday. She had a great time at her birthday party, as she was read to by the Mayor of Wanneroo, Tracey Roberts, Cr David Boothman from the City of Stirling, Margaret Quick, the member for Girraween and Janine Freeman, the member for Mirrabooka plus lots and lots of children.
Michelle Calderbank was presented with WA’s Shire of Yilgarn Australia Day Active Citizenship Award for her significant contribution to supporting the Yilgarn community.
Michelle set up Paint the Yligarn REaD in her own time to provide the next generation of children in Southern Cross with the best possible chance to reach their potential. Michelle is a high school English teacher and witnesses firsthand the significant challenges for young people when they have not had the important early literacy foundational experiences. A long-time resident in Southern Cross, Michelle had the connections and the respect in the community to engage everyone in supporting and spreading the PTTR message. And this included her high school students who eagerly took on the catering role at the launch event, and gained catering qualifications in the process.
Michelle has a number of other voluntary roles in the community such as running the Young Entertainers program for the past 12 years and active involvement in sporting clubs.
Paint the Town REaD groups across Australia are off and running, and especially Librarians, who are including children under school age in their Summer Reading Challenges at their local libraries. It’s a great way to give children starting school that final boost, and for younger children to model from older siblings is always a super opportunity. And you might even bump into your local PTTR mascot there as well.
Thank you to everyone who has made this year so special by increasing the opportunities for children to enjoy the wonder of being read and sung with.
From our amazing local community groups – now 50+ over five Australian states, through to funders like the St George Foundation, the AMP Foundation, the Eureka Foundation, the Commonwealth Bank, private donors and the many many probono supporters.
Here are two of them – wonderful woman, Roxanne Kiely (song writer) and Anne Donnelly (author). Roxanne, ran a Songwriting Workshop for Early Educators in Paint Cumberland REaD NSW, and Anne visited a combined playgroup in Mt Druitt NSW, where she grew up, to encourage young mums to reach for the stars.
Paint Doonside Read, whose partners include Wentwest’s Thrive@5, Relationships Australia, Crawford Public School, Community Health’s Child and Family Nurses, Blacktown City Libraries and Dr Michael Fasher, launched their Books for Babies project this month. Nursing staff, who have received training from PTTR Ltd, and Blacktown Library about the whys and hows of reading with your baby from birth, will be sharing books and information with all new babies born in Doonside this year – and their families!
The books were purchased from generous donations by the The Funding Network and the AMP Foundation. Thank you!
And for a completely serendipitous moment, See Me Move – the main book to be given to babies, is written by Sascha Hutchinson, a champion in one of our newest communities, Paint the Westside REaD, in Adelaide.
On a near freezing day last month, just about everyone in Parkes turned out for the Reading Day with Friends, commemorating 20 years since Paint Parkes REaD began as Birth to Kindergarten. Children from birth were in attendance, through to High School students singing in shops and on the streets to children, shops were decorated in red, libraries took over a local club’s auditorium to act out a story, a local farmer sang and read with children in the Office Supplies store, carrier pigeons, and even Elvis spread the message of read with your baby from birth. Grandfathers spoke about it in the local pub, and young mums and their babies drove over an hour to get there.
Pietta Bridges, Reading Day Coordinator said that the day was a culmination of a few months of activities across children’s services, including pen pal writing, creating a friendship chain, and learning about being friends.
Today we celebrate and remember the importance of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day.
Thank you to the many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aunties and Uncles and workers from across Australia, who are leading us to Paint Australia REaD, Black and Yellow so that our children will arrive at school loving books and ready to learn.
Tracey and Charlie from NSW’s Paint Shoalhaven REaD, Black and Yellow with Karrak, Paint Kwinana REaD WA’s black cockatoo Mascot. Karrak is holding Shoalhaven’s magical reading egg.