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    Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    $2.5 million for new early childhood centre in Lockhart River

    Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Tuesday, September 01, 2015

    $2.5 million for new early childhood centre in Lockhart River

    The Cape York Aboriginal community of Lockhart River will open the doors to a new early childhood and family support centre next year with the help of the Palaszczuk Government.

    Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke today inspected progress on the long-awaited site opposite the Lockhart River State School.

    Minister O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government had provided $2.5 million of funding to the Puuya (life force) Foundation to build the new centre, which had been in the planning stages for three years.

    “The new Kuunchi Kakana (Families Together) Centre will better support the needs of families and young children in Lockhart River,” Minister O’Rourke said.

    “The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensuring every Queensland child has access to quality early childhood education and care services that will support their safe, healthy and successful development.

    “We are already working closely with Lockhart River State School to deliver services including school readiness programs, outreach to hard-to-reach families and child health and wellbeing assessments in the pre-prep program.”

    Minister O’Rourke said construction work was progressing well with footings completed and preparations underway for the assembly of the flat pack components, contributed by the Murphy Family Foundation.

    The Puuya Foundation, who has been at the forefront of the community campaign, has committed to the employment and training of local people during the construction of the centre.

    The Puuya Foundation Board Chair Dottie Hobson said the new centre would integrate existing education and care, child and maternal health and family support services.

    We need to focus from ‘in the belly’ to give our children the very best start to life through our new Kuunchi Kakana Centre,” Ms Hobson said.

    Foundation founder and CEO Denise Hagan said the Lockhart River community had agreed several years ago that quality early years learning and parenting were vital for the community’s future.

    “This new centre will put the future of the community back in their hands and will be life-changing for children as well as their families,” Ms Hagan said.

     

    Media Contact:          Minister O’Rourke’s office                 3719 7190 / 0434 849 454