The Seymour community comes together to celebrate Harmony Week

Seymour families turned out in force to celebrate diversity and harmony at the Seymour Family & Children’s Centre.

In recognition of the importance of community connectedness, Our Place Seymour, Seymour College, Kids First kindergarten and Mitchell Shire City Council collaborated to host a Harmony Week event.

This free event was open to the whole Seymour community. It helped promote the Harmony Day theme ‘everyone belongs’ and reinforced the message that everyone belongs at the Seymour Family & Children’s Centre and the College.

 Connecting and having fun

Over 120 local community members attended this inclusive and exciting event, with attendees mainly consisting of children and their parents and carers. Attendees were treated to a barbecue, face-painting, and hot and cold drinks courtesy of the local Mervalicious coffee van. Some of the free and fun activities provided on the day were T-Shirt screen printing with Gnarly Neighbours, a puppetry demonstration by Jason Triggs Puppeteer and a sports session run by the outside school hours care provider Kelly Club.

By offering and facilitating these free activities, children and families received the opportunity to be introduced to, test and try engagement and enrichment activities. These activities are available to families locally with some delivered on site at the Family & Children’s Centre.

Attendees also spent time getting to know local service providers, including The First Nations Assembly of Victoria, Family Care, Victoria Police and Jobs Victoria, who all set up stalls and provided the adults with information and advice and the children with colourful goodie bags.

How this came together

Supporting the community to be strong and resilient and creating ways for children and families to be involved in the community, is one focus area for the Our Place Seymour Site Partnership Group (SPG). The SPG work together on a number of key areas and shared goals, and this event is one example of this work in action.

To further support this event and playing the ‘glue’ role, Our Place liaised with the SPG and the Services Advisory Group to identify local service organisations to engage with and invite to support this event. Our Place also applied for and successfully received a grant from Mitchell Shire City Council. Receiving this grant ensured that all aspects of the event could be provided entirely free of cost to all attendees. The grant also enabled the site to support local services to attend the event by ensuring they would not be out of pocket for volunteering their time and resources.

Alignment with the Our Place Approach

An event such as this one aligns with many aspects of the Our Place Approach. At Our Place, we value that community collaboration helps forge a shared vision and plans for community hubs. We also work to facilitate collaboration and planning. Our Place SPGs also work together to ensure that community members feel connected, socially included and have a sense of pride and belonging.

Having local services in attendance also aids in the warm referral approach, which is integral to the Our Place approach. By providing communities with opportunities to informally meet with services, relationships and familiarity with a service can begin to develop. These interactions can also help community members identify support services that meet their needs and can help build confidence in accessing services.

Click HERE to find out more about the Our Place Approach.