The Commissioner for Children and Young People WA Jenni Perkins was impressed with Wilson Park Primary School and its students during her visit to Collie earlier this week.
During her visit, the students told the Commissioner about their study of Noongar language and the six Aboriginal seasons, and explained how they like having a safe and caring school.
Ms Perkins visited the school during her three-day visit to Collie and Bunbury, which was part of the Commissioner’s regular discussions with regional communities about how children and young people are faring and the challenges they face.
Ms Perkins said her meetings with students and service providers in Collie provided her with an understanding of the significant work that is being done locally to support children and young people’s wellbeing.
“There are several excellent programs in place at Wilson Park, such as Positive Behaviour Support and the Play Café that are supporting both children and families from an early age,” Ms Perkins said.
“I was also pleased to see construction started on the Child and Parent Centre which will be such an important resource for the community and will increase the access families have to a range of important early childhood services.”
Ms Perkins said she had informative discussions with local representatives of agencies that support children and families by attending meetings of the Collie Interagency Group and Collie Early Years Network.
“I appreciate members of these groups giving me their time and outlining both the successful programs in operation and the challenges local children and young people face.
“As with many regional centres, the issue of access to services was raised, including access to confidential mental health services for young people, with transport also being a barrier.
“While there have been improvements in the provision of mental health services, there is a long way to go and it is vital that regional children, young people and families get the support they require.
“Mental health is a key area of work for my office and this feedback helps my advocacy to government and the agencies that are responsible for improving these services.”
The Commissioner will release a report of her visit to Collie and Bunbury in the next couple of weeks.
More information about the Commissioner and her work is available from www.ccyp.wa.gov.au