Playgroup Queensland 2016 National Playgroup Week Event
It is a great pleasure for Kaye and me to join you this morning to celebrate National Playgroup Week.
This is the first Playgroup Queensland event I have attended in my official capacity as Patron, but unofficially, as grandparents, Kaye and I have fond memories of past Playgroup Weeks and of the excellent services provided throughout the year by Playgroup Queensland – also, Kaye took our eldest, Carolyn, to Playgroup activities some (few!) years ago, and more recently our eldest grandchild, her son, Alexander!
Today’s signature celebration here at QPAC is being mirrored in Mount Isa and in the Redlands-Bayside area. In addition, Playgroups throughout the State will be inviting family, friends and the community to take part in activities this week.
The sheer scope of this celebration indicates just how far the playgroup movement has grown in forty years.
As parents and grandparents, Kaye and I have watched that parent-led, grassroots movement grow from a grand idea to a strong and respected community organisation.
Playgroup Queensland now offers some nine hundred sessions each week and delivers a range of ground-breaking programs. Its music therapy program is nationally accredited, and its partnerships with government and not-for-profit organisations have produced award-winning results.
In short, it’s an organisation of which all Queenslanders can be proud.
It is particularly pleasing to me that, despite its growth, Playgroup Queensland has maintained its original focus on nurturing young children and connecting families. It also remains uniquely Australian — indeed, in a fortieth anniversary publication last year, one writer went so far as to describe it as “an Aussie icon, just like lamingtons and Vegemite”.
I commend Playgroup Queensland on its ongoing contribution to building strong communities in our State.
Events like this may take the spotlight, but it is the daily work of facilitation, research, training and advocacy that provides the solid bedrock on which our communities are built.
Today, I’m sure our grandchildren, Alexander, Sophie and Lily, would be particularly excited to see Kaye and me participating in Bollywood dancing or yoga, but we were relieved to see that reading, craft and puzzles are also on offer on the Melbourne Street Green.
With that sense of relief, I congratulate and thank everyone involved in bringing together this celebration, particularly QPAC for hosting today’s event, and wish Playgroup Queensland well for a very successful twenty-sixteen Playgroup Week.