Child care forum focuses child learning on landscapes


EACH year all the Child and Family Centres (CFCs) from around Tasmania come together for a day. This year Clarence Plains CFC and Wayraparatte CFC (Geeveston) joined forces to present a forum at Clarendon Vale. The theme was to get dirty with the major drawcard, the famous Dirt Girl from ABCTV’s Get Grubby series. Dirt Girl takes pre-schoolers on adventures which are all about the planet and the wonderful landscapes of rural, urban and suburban Australia.

tagari lia,Bridgewater CFC was delighted to be a part of this amazing day, taking a handful of local families along with tagari liastaff to participate in and enjoy the experience of rediscovering outdoor nature play.

ABC TV’s Dirt Girl, left, with Margi Nolan from tagari lia enjoying some of the fun in the dirt
ABC TV’s Dirt Girl, left, with Margi Nolan from tagari lia enjoying some of the fun in the dirt

Associate Professor Nick Hopwood summed it up by saying, “I hope everyone today gets to tap into what it was from their youth that maybe they can remember fondly about nature. To do some exploring, to get their hands dirty …. get in touch with nature, explore things, take some risks and find how amazing nature is …”

Ryk Goddard, host of ABC Radio’s Hobart breakfast program was the engaging MC for the official stage of the event. The day began with a beautiful and deeply moving Welcome to Country song performed by students from Clarendon Vale Primary and Glen Huon Primary School choir under the guidance of the highly respected Tasmanian Aboriginal singer-songwriter Dewayne Everett-Smith.

Jacquie Petrusma, Member for Franklin officially opened the forum and was followed by some interesting guest speakers, including Dirt Girl, who proved to be the most popular attraction of the day, spending time with the children, playing outside and getting grubby.

The formalities ended with a smoking ceremony outside before people were invited to enjoy the amazing activities set up outside. The children had an incredible time exploring the wonderful outdoor resource My Place – a purely nature-based play space that included log swings, tunnels under dirt hills, muddy creeks to jump in and balancing bridges.

Some of the activities included hut building with Sam Crosby; miniature bark canoe making; yarn spinning and damper making with Deb Hocking; fun with water and ice; creating with objects found outside; making musical instruments from vegetables with Elisse Kleiner; mural painting with Arthur Conlon; and adventures in the mud with Dirt Girl. The hugely successful day ended with a performance from Dirt Girl.

Complementing the wonderful activities, was plenty of food from various food stalls including a hot potato stand, wallaby stew stand, Huon Valley salmon, wood-fired pizza, mutton birds, salads and healthy snacks from Family Food Patch’s Well Fed Tasmania food van.

tagari liahosted a Tasmanian bush food stall which proved to be very popular, especially the healthy fruit sorbets and tukka dukka kebabs. Some of the local Police cadets were particularly taken with the gourmet Mountain Pepper Chicken Adobo cups!

tagari liastaff and families had a most enjoyable day and congratulate Clarence Plains and Wayraparatte on a successful CFC Forum. They have certainly set the standard very high.

*Nicki Kastneris tagari lia’sTasmanian bush Food to plate project facilitator