Increased support for local families at Morwell Park Primary School

Our Place Morwell brought together local families, community partners and service providers to celebrate its launch at Morwell Park Primary School on Thursday 2nd November, with a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony conducted by Auntie Kathy Dalton and family, a cake cutting ceremony and a party held in the school grounds.

Our Place founder and philanthropist Julius Colman, Our Place CEO Sean Cory, Victorian Department of Education Inner Gippsland Area Director Andrew Eastcott, Latrobe City Mayor Kelly O’Callaghan and School Principal Chris Joustra welcomed the community to celebrate the occasion.

I’m really excited about the prospect of what Our Place brings. Often in schools and other government agencies, we act as little silos. Our Place gives us the opportunity to no longer work as silos but work as groups together.

I see children that don’t access all the opportunities that are available for them here at school. If we can get in early and support the work between the kinder and preschool, if we can all get on board and join together, that’s where the real differences can be made. I am passionate about those things and can see Our Place playing an important part in assisting us in empowering students to have those opportunities.

Chris Joustra, Morwell Park Primary School Principal

In partnership with Morwell Park Primary School and the Latrobe City Council, Our Place has been working on site in a purpose-built hub since January this year to support children and their families succeed through high-quality learning and addressing their health and wellbeing needs. It is the second Our Place site in Morwell, in addition to Morwell Central Primary School.

We’ve got a really strong partnership now between the kinder and the school here at Morwell Park Primary and all of us collectively want the best for the kids in Morwell. We want to make sure we do everything we can to help them succeed. Today has been about giving our families the opportunity to socialise and for them to get to know us and to know that Hannah, Sophie and I from Our Place are here for them.

Jen Doultree, Our Place Morwell Partnership Manager

Our Place is supporting the engagement of local families with its partner organisations that connect on site at the school.

These include family service and playgroup as part of the Early Help program with Key Assets and Ramahyuck, family services and supported play groups from 54 Reasons, health and wellbeing interventions with Latrobe Community Health Service and NDIS, general practice with Royal Medical Centre, education and employment services with Skills and Jobs Victoria, Parent Next program with APM Workcare services, education with Tafe Gippsland and after school sports and physical activity programs with Gippsport.

We have a magnificent community; we have wonderful people, and we will lead from a basis of our strengths and our connections in community and country. I’m very grateful for all the work that you’ve all done and thank you to all the partner agencies who’ve allowed us this opportunity to be able participate in this wonderful program.

Kelly O’Callagha, Latrobe City Council Mayor