Andrews Government supporting Maryborough children through Go Goldfields initiative
Children growing up in Maryborough are being supported to have the best start in life via a new program which is designed to help them grow up ‘safe, happy and confident’.
Victoria’s Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas opened the Go Goldfields’ new headquarters at Maryborough earlier this week, also announcing a $1 million investment in the Victorian Budget 2021/22 to support the program’s Every Child, Every Chance initiative.
Maryborough in the Central Victorian Goldfields is the fourth most disadvantaged area in Victoria, with the region facing challenges that inhibit the growth and development of children. This new funding will work to support positive, long-term outcomes for local children and their families.
Go Goldfields will bring together community, business, government and non-for-profit partners to focus on five key priorities, with children to be supported from before they are born through pregnancy programs and with access to pre-birth seminars and promotion to first trimester antenatal visits.
In addition to this, there will be emphasis on parenting programs, cultural safety training for health workers and a healing space to treat children who have experienced family violence, as well as ensuring schools and early childhood centres work together to coordinate the transition from kinder to school.
Every Child, Every Chance was established in late 2020 as a collaboration between key government agencies including the Department of Health and the Department of Education, local health and education providers and the Central Goldfields Shire.
The program will be overseen by an independent Chair and community members and will build on learnings from almost a decade of Go Goldfields initiatives. It will focus on driving change for all children from the early stages of pregnancy to eight years of age.
“We know that every region faces unique challenges and opportunities that require a local approach and we are ensuring that the right support reaches those who need it,” Ms Thomas said.