Child’s play a worthy cause for Vic Park

Published on 26 October 2021

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To recognise Children’s Week and support its youngest community members, the Town of Victoria Park has endorsed the WA Play Charter, and is now calling on local schools and community organisations to sign up. Victoria Park is the first local government to formally endorse the charter.

The charter was developed by the Play Matters Collective, a group of organisations and likeminded individuals advocating across the Western Australian community for children’s fundamental right to play. The collective includes Early Childhood Australia WA, Play Australia, Nature Play WA, and the Commissioner for Children and Young People, and values child-initiated, self-directed play as one of the foundations for children’s holistic development.

Mayor Karen Vernon said the charter aligns perfectly with this year’s Children’s Week theme, ‘Create, Play, Connect’.

“By endorsing the WA Play Charter, we’re affirming our commitment to ensure the Town is a place where children can use their imagination to play freely, enjoy themselves, and socialise with other kids,” Mayor Vernon said.

The Town has a number of high quality, accessible playgrounds and outdoor spaces, including John Macmillan Park in East Victoria Park, Koolbardi Park, Carlisle, and Burswood’s G.O. Edwards Park. The Playtime in the Park events have been hosted at a different park since early 2018, and have been a drawcard for families within Vic Park’s local neighbourhoods.

The library is a community hub for indoor play, with a large collection of board games, puppets, jigsaws, musical instruments, and similar items for loan.

The Town also supports a community-based early years network, the Family and Children Connect Vic Park group.

Mayor Karen Vernon said advocating for children’s play complements the Town’s infrastructure and stakeholder partnerships.

“The right for children to play is vital, and enshrined in the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“I encourage local organisations, individuals, and even other local governments to join the Town in signing the charter.”

Jayne Kaiko, a local teacher from Perth Individual Montessori College in Burswood and member of the Play Matters Collective, said community support for the charter is an important step.

“We invite all councils in WA to champion the children, young people and families within their communities by endorsing the WA Play Charter.

“We encourage councils to work to ensure that the children and young people in their communities feel welcome and valued; from the moment they step out of their front door by having safe and easy access to a range of playful spaces and activities – because play matters,” Ms Kaiko said.

The WA Play Charter can be viewed and endorsed online at www.playmatterswa.org.au/waplaycharter.                                      

Photo L-R: Jayne Kaiko, Perth Individual students Marshall Thick, John Raines-Marsh and Zoya Cabral, and Mayor Karen Vernon

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