Derby playgroup driving change for local kids

Strong relationships leading to success

World Vision’s Bubanil playgroup is driving positive change in the Western Australian town of Derby with more than 90 per cent of children attending regularly since opening in May last year. ‘Bubanil’ means ‘children’ in the local Nykinia dialect.

The popularity of the early years’ service run in partnership with the West Australian government is attributed to the employment of Aboriginal facilitators, the incorporation of cultural activities and the development of respectful relationships with parents.

Playgroups play a vital role in supporting a child’s successful transition to school and are particularly important in regions like the Kimberley where school-based language and cognitive skills are low in comparison to the rest of Australia.

World Vision’s Australia Program Director Graham Tardif said the success of playgroups like Bubanil is also attributed to strong community relationships.

“It’s only through our strong relationships with local groups and organisations that projects like this are thriving, well beyond our expectations,” Graham said.

“What a lot of people aren’t aware of is that we start talking to the community long before we open the doors to services like this. There is a considerable amount of energy that goes into listening, talking and establishing trust. Without strong community ties a project is set-up to fail,” he said.

World Vision’s early childhood and youth development work in the West Kimberley includes four largely Ngarinyin communities, three of which are situated along the Gibb River Rd.