Updated: Apr 22
She went to Canberra, told her story, and amplified the voice of all mothers.
It was 2 years ago that Dinah Thomasset, CEO and Founder of Villagehood Australia, promised the Villagehood mums that “we will create a better reality for all mothers”. And for that to happen she understood she had to go to Canberra to talk to politicians and policy makers.
So fast forward 2 years to February 2023 and she did it!
Invited by Georgie Dent, CEO of Parenthood Australia, Dinah stood in front of 100 attendees, including the Minister for Social Services and the Minister for Early Childhood and Youth at The National Early Years Summit in Canberra as a representative and mum of two. She amplified the voice of all mothers calling for change to the Early Years Strategy to create a more inclusive and culturally safe Australia for all children and families.
The Early Years Summit opened up the conversation around many topics and provided an insight into the raw reality of what parents, children, and families are currently experiencing in Australia.
During the workshop and in her speech, Dinah focused on these messages:
1. We need to create a culturally safe environment for all children and mothers in Australia, with a specific focus on Indigenous and Aboriginal children initially. This will then extend to all cultures within Australia because all children should feel safe and like they belong.
2. Relationships are at the heart of ensuring a child is able to thrive. The relationship between the child and their primary caregiver, which is their mother 95% of the time, is vital for the child to feel safe, nurtured, and stable. For this relationship to be strong, the mother needs to be well and healthy. Support for the mother is vital for the relationship and the child to thrive.
3. Peer support and the role of grassroots organisations such as Villagehood Australia, need to be recognised as an important alternative form of support to mothers and children. Government support is required to ensure such services can continue to support the mums and children. For the child to thrive, the mother needs to be well and supported.
Dinah came back from the Early Years Summit filled with hope, knowing that everyone in the room agreed that 2023 had to be the year of national reform for the early years.
Many shared their thoughts, ideas and principles necessary for a positive outcome and as I now reflect on this extraordinary day, I am optimistic that the Early Years Strategy will help create a more inclusive and culturally safe Australia for all children and families.
Being invited to this Summit didn’t just happen. It has taken significant collaborative work over the past three years. And every step we have taken towards creating change for mums, parents, and children through creating the support and awareness that is needed, is a step closer to allowing every mum, parent, and child in Australia to be well, safe, and nurtured.
And whilst these conversations continue, Dinah and her team at Villagehood Australia will focus on supporting the community in Adelaide, South Australia.
If you'd like to learn more about the work Villagehood Australia do or the programs they offer, please check the website www.villagehoodaustralia.com
And if you would like to tell your story or connect with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note, this is not a political blog. Whilst Villagehood Australia is community centric, we recognise that conversations with politicians and policy makers are sometimes needed to be able to make a real difference. Social transformation is at the heart of Villagehood Australia values. We want to help create transformation for mums, and transformation of the system to ensure support is available.
Villagehood Australia is a registered charity with the ACNC and is endorsed as Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR). You can donate to the charity here.