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Maternal and child health partnership project shortlisted in Victorian Early Years Awards

Tuesday 24 November 2020

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families have teamed up with councils and key healthcare providers, to create a culturally respectful project which is improving access to, and engagement with, primary health care.

Community Connections: New Directions Mothers and Babies Services Project, is a partnership between Dandenong and Districts Aborigines Co-operative Limited, Monash Health and the City of Greater Dandenong, City of Casey and Frankston City councils.

Earlier this year, Frankston City Council joined the project, which aims to improve participation and access to the Maternal and Child Health Service, immunisations and other primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

It is one of 20 finalists in the State Government’s 2020 Victorian Early Years Awards and was shortlisted in the Promoting Children’s Health and Wellbeing category.

The project has so far published books about connecting to culture, produced a collaborative film as part of the Ask the Question campaign, created a community calendar and developed other health resources.

Frankston City Council CEO, Phil Cantillon, said Community Connections was providing families with important information on health, wellbeing, child development, immunisations and nutrition in a culturally appropriate way.

“This project has a strong focus on health promotion and supporting effective referral pathways to ensure vulnerable families receive early intervention and intensive support before more serious health issues arise.”

Mr Cantillon said Council was honoured to see its commitment to the Community Connections project recognised in this year’s Victorian Early Years Awards.

“To be in the top 20 from 115 nominations is a credit to the hard work of everyone involved in this collaborative project.”

The awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of both individuals and organisations in the early childhood sector, towards creating positive opportunities and educational outcomes for children.

The winners will be announced tomorrow (Wednesday 25 November), and each will receive a $15,000 grant for professional development.

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