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MAKING KINDERGARTEN MORE INCLUSIVE FOR MANSFIELD CHILDREN

The Andrews Labor Government is helping ensure Mansfield children of all abilities can get the most out of their time at kindergarten, thanks to a new upgrade. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes welcomed the Mansfield Kindergarten’s new upgrade, which includes accessible pathways, acoustic treatment, accessible swings, sculptural garden, and new indoor learning equipment. The Labor Government provided Mansfield Kindergarten nearly $63,000 towards the project, which aims to provide a more inclusive environment for children with disabilities or additional needs. This project is part of the Inclusive Kindergarten Facilities Program, which provides funding to upgrade buildings and playgrounds or buy equipment to provide more accessible and inclusive environments. The state’s biggest early education build will continue over the coming years, with the Government to invest more than $1.68 billion over the next decade to support the construction or expansion of almost 1,000 kindergartens across the state. This is part of the Government’s $5 billion commitment to deliver 15 hours of funded kindergarten programs for all three-year-old children in Victoria over the next decade, with the roll-out beginning in 2020. This is about ensuring Mansfield families have access to stronger support in early childhood, so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “All children should get the most out of their time at kindergarten, which is why we’re making kinder buildings and playgrounds more accessible for children of all abilities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “I’m delighted we’re helping kindergartens such as Mansfield Kindergarten upgrade their infrastructure to create more inclusive and accessible environments.”

MAKING KINDERGARTEN MORE INCLUSIVE FOR MANSFIELD CHILDREN

The Andrews Labor Government is helping ensure Mansfield children of all abilities can get the most out of their time at kindergarten, thanks to a new upgrade. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes welcomed the Mansfield Kindergarten’s new upgrade, which includes accessible pathways, acoustic treatment, accessible swings, sculptural garden, and new indoor learning equipment. The Labor Government provided Mansfield Kindergarten nearly $63,000 towards the project, which aims to provide a more inclusive environment for children with disabilities or additional needs. This project is part of the Inclusive Kindergarten Facilities Program, which provides funding to upgrade buildings and playgrounds or buy equipment to provide more accessible and inclusive environments. The state’s biggest early education build will continue over the coming years, with the Government to invest more than $1.68 billion over the next decade to support the construction or expansion of almost 1,000 kindergartens across the state. This is part of the Government’s $5 billion commitment to deliver 15 hours of funded kindergarten programs for all three-year-old children in Victoria over the next decade, with the roll-out beginning in 2020. This is about ensuring Mansfield families have access to stronger support in early childhood, so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “All children should get the most out of their time at kindergarten, which is why we’re making kinder buildings and playgrounds more accessible for children of all abilities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “I’m delighted we’re helping kindergartens such as Mansfield Kindergarten upgrade their infrastructure to create more inclusive and accessible environments.”

INSPIRING BENALLA EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS RECOGNISED

An early childhood program that is improving the lives of children in Benalla is being recognised and celebrated as being among the state’s best, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced Tomorrow Today Education Foundation as one of 20 Victorian Early Years Awards finalists, who are being recognised for their outstanding contributions to the early childhood education sector across the state. The Tomorrow Today Education Foundation delivers Parents Early Education Partnership (PEEP) in Benalla to improve outcomes for local children. PEEP originates from the United Kingdom, specifically for families experiencing disadvantage to support them as their child's first and most important educator. Parents/carers commit to attending at least one term of a weekly facilitated playgroup, in which songs, rhymes, stories and creative play are used to promote pre-literacy and numeracy skills. Children and parents also use this opportunity to socialise with other families. The program is a collaborative, community effort, with over 60 partners, referrers and volunteers playing a role in its creation and delivery. During 2018, 15 sessions were delivered per week, attended by 222 families with 290 children. Now in its 14th year, the Victorian Early Years Awards recognise the crucial work of early childhood professionals in helping young children to learn and thrive. Award winners in each category will receive up to $15,000 to continue their exceptional work in kindergarten services, schools, local councils, Maternal Child and Health services and other early years organisations across the state. The awards celebrate the achievements and commitment of early childhood professionals across seven award categories, including supporting parents and the early childhood teacher of the year. Early childhood education is the foundation for lifelong wellbeing and learning, and the Labor Government is committed to expanding services delivered to children and their families. Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years. This is why, in an Australian first, the Labor Government is investing almost $5 billion over the next decade to deliver full 15 hours per week of funded three-year-old kindergarten programs, to be progressively rolled out from 2020. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 22 October at the National Gallery of Victoria. For more details on this year’s finalists, see: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/awards/Pages/veya-finalists-2019.aspx Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, James Merlino: “The Victorian Early Years Awards are a great opportunity to recognise our early childhood professionals, and the inspiring work they do every day to set our youngest Victorians up for success in life.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “I wish to congratulate our fantastic early childhood professionals and programs, including every one of those recognised as finalists in this year’s Victorian Early Years Awards.” “Every day, caring and passionate early childhood professionals and services work tirelessly in Benalla to help local families and children thrive and get the most out of their early education. Their dedicated work inspires all of us.”

INSPIRING BENALLA EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS RECOGNISED

An early childhood program that is improving the lives of children in Benalla is being recognised and celebrated as being among the state’s best, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced Tomorrow Today Education Foundation as one of 20 Victorian Early Years Awards finalists, who are being recognised for their outstanding contributions to the early childhood education sector across the state. The Tomorrow Today Education Foundation delivers Parents Early Education Partnership (PEEP) in Benalla to improve outcomes for local children. PEEP originates from the United Kingdom, specifically for families experiencing disadvantage to support them as their child's first and most important educator. Parents/carers commit to attending at least one term of a weekly facilitated playgroup, in which songs, rhymes, stories and creative play are used to promote pre-literacy and numeracy skills. Children and parents also use this opportunity to socialise with other families. The program is a collaborative, community effort, with over 60 partners, referrers and volunteers playing a role in its creation and delivery. During 2018, 15 sessions were delivered per week, attended by 222 families with 290 children. Now in its 14th year, the Victorian Early Years Awards recognise the crucial work of early childhood professionals in helping young children to learn and thrive. Award winners in each category will receive up to $15,000 to continue their exceptional work in kindergarten services, schools, local councils, Maternal Child and Health services and other early years organisations across the state. The awards celebrate the achievements and commitment of early childhood professionals across seven award categories, including supporting parents and the early childhood teacher of the year. Early childhood education is the foundation for lifelong wellbeing and learning, and the Labor Government is committed to expanding services delivered to children and their families. Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years. This is why, in an Australian first, the Labor Government is investing almost $5 billion over the next decade to deliver full 15 hours per week of funded three-year-old kindergarten programs, to be progressively rolled out from 2020. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 22 October at the National Gallery of Victoria. For more details on this year’s finalists, see: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/awards/Pages/veya-finalists-2019.aspx Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, James Merlino: “The Victorian Early Years Awards are a great opportunity to recognise our early childhood professionals, and the inspiring work they do every day to set our youngest Victorians up for success in life.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “I wish to congratulate our fantastic early childhood professionals and programs, including every one of those recognised as finalists in this year’s Victorian Early Years Awards.” “Every day, caring and passionate early childhood professionals and services work tirelessly in Benalla to help local families and children thrive and get the most out of their early education. Their dedicated work inspires all of us.”

Tackling The Digital Divide In Central Highlands

The Andrews Labor Government is backing a new plan to improve digital connectivity in central Victoria as part of a commitment to give regional Victorians equal access to the infrastructure and services available in Melbourne. Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes and Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula today launched the Central Highlands Digital Plan – the first of its kind in Victoria, supported by a share in $1 million through the Connecting Regional Communities Program. The Central Highlands plan is one of nine digital plans currently under development in collaboration with the Labor Government’s Regional Partnerships. Communities across Victoria called on Regional Partnerships to prioritise digital connectivity in regional Victoria, and the Labor Government listened. Developed by the Central Highlands Regional Partnership, the new digital plan provides a comprehensive overview of digital infrastructure and supply shortages across Ballarat, Moorabool, Golden Plains, Ararat, Pyrenees and Hepburn shires. The plan incorporates investigative fieldwork and mapping of current services such as mobile coverage, fixed broadband for businesses, public WiFi and Internet of Things networks. Since 2014, the Labor Government has already invested $130 million to improve digital connectivity across rural and regional Victoria. 14 new mobile towers have been built within the Central Highlands region to address blackspots and improve public safety, liveability and economic opportunities. The Government’s investment has also improved mobile connectivity on VLine rail services between Melbourne and Ballarat and delivered a free public WiFi network in Ballarat. The Central Highlands Digital Plan can be viewed at https://www.rdv.vic.gov.au/news/new-plan-to-tackle-digital-divide-In-central-victoria. The remaining eight plans will be released over the coming months. Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes “Nobody knows the priorities of country Victoria better than the communities themselves, and we’re proud to have invested in this plan through the Central Highlands Regional Partnership to tackle the digital divide across the state.” Quote attributable to Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula “Regional communities and businesses deserve high-quality, reliable digital infrastructure and services, and this first-of-its-kind digital plan will pave the way for better connectivity.”  

Tackling The Digital Divide In Central Highlands

The Andrews Labor Government is backing a new plan to improve digital connectivity in central Victoria as part of a commitment to give regional Victorians equal access to the infrastructure and services available in Melbourne. Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes and Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula today launched the Central Highlands Digital Plan – the first of its kind in Victoria, supported by a share in $1 million through the Connecting Regional Communities Program. The Central Highlands plan is one of nine digital plans currently under development in collaboration with the Labor Government’s Regional Partnerships. Communities across Victoria called on Regional Partnerships to prioritise digital connectivity in regional Victoria, and the Labor Government listened. Developed by the Central Highlands Regional Partnership, the new digital plan provides a comprehensive overview of digital infrastructure and supply shortages across Ballarat, Moorabool, Golden Plains, Ararat, Pyrenees and Hepburn shires. The plan incorporates investigative fieldwork and mapping of current services such as mobile coverage, fixed broadband for businesses, public WiFi and Internet of Things networks. Since 2014, the Labor Government has already invested $130 million to improve digital connectivity across rural and regional Victoria. 14 new mobile towers have been built within the Central Highlands region to address blackspots and improve public safety, liveability and economic opportunities. The Government’s investment has also improved mobile connectivity on VLine rail services between Melbourne and Ballarat and delivered a free public WiFi network in Ballarat. The Central Highlands Digital Plan can be viewed at https://www.rdv.vic.gov.au/news/new-plan-to-tackle-digital-divide-In-central-victoria. The remaining eight plans will be released over the coming months. Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes “Nobody knows the priorities of country Victoria better than the communities themselves, and we’re proud to have invested in this plan through the Central Highlands Regional Partnership to tackle the digital divide across the state.” Quote attributable to Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula “Regional communities and businesses deserve high-quality, reliable digital infrastructure and services, and this first-of-its-kind digital plan will pave the way for better connectivity.”  

WALL TO WALL JOY IN BENALLA AS FESTIVAL WINS SUPPORT

Australia’s largest regional street art festival has received a major boost thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s $20 million Regional Events Fund (REF). Minister for Regional Development and Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced that Benalla’s annual Wall to Wall Festival had secured funding which will help strengthen the town’s position as the regional art capital of Australia as well as raise the profile of Victoria’s North East. Launched in 2015, the dynamic arts festival attracts works from world-class street artists including local talents Rone, Adnate, Dvate and Kitt Bennett plus a line-up of high-profile international guests each year. Throughout the festival weekend, visitors not only see artworks unfold before their eyes but are immersed in musical and cinematic performances, hands-on workshops, guided street art tours, artist talks and complementary exhibitions throughout the town, including notable displays in the Benalla Art Gallery. The Wall to Wall Festival is one of regional Victoria’s most significant events with murals driving visitation to the region throughout the year and generating around $6 million towards the state’s visitor economy. The Labor Government’s Regional Events Fund is helping rural and regional towns across Victoria secure strong calendars of events which create local jobs and provide compelling attractions for community members. Benalla is part of the High Country tourism region, which attracted more than 4 million domestic and international visitors who spent an estimated $1.3 billion in the year to March. These impressive results come off the back of the Government’s investment in tourism which has helped deliver more than 200 events across our regions, and major tourism campaigns including the new regional promotion Your Happy Space. The Wall to Wall Festival will run from April 3-5 2020. For more information visit www.walltowallfestival.com. Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development and Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “In just four years this festival has grown into a world-class event, bringing thousands of visitors and enhancing Benalla’s reputation as Australia’s regional art capital.” “We’re so proud to support events like this which as well as bringing fantastic art to regional Victoria, support local jobs and boost country businesses.”   Quote attributable to Tourism North East chief executive Amber Gardner “We’d like to thank the Victorian Government for investing in regional tourism and local businesses by supporting the Wall to Wall Festival.”

WALL TO WALL JOY IN BENALLA AS FESTIVAL WINS SUPPORT

Australia’s largest regional street art festival has received a major boost thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s $20 million Regional Events Fund (REF). Minister for Regional Development and Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced that Benalla’s annual Wall to Wall Festival had secured funding which will help strengthen the town’s position as the regional art capital of Australia as well as raise the profile of Victoria’s North East. Launched in 2015, the dynamic arts festival attracts works from world-class street artists including local talents Rone, Adnate, Dvate and Kitt Bennett plus a line-up of high-profile international guests each year. Throughout the festival weekend, visitors not only see artworks unfold before their eyes but are immersed in musical and cinematic performances, hands-on workshops, guided street art tours, artist talks and complementary exhibitions throughout the town, including notable displays in the Benalla Art Gallery. The Wall to Wall Festival is one of regional Victoria’s most significant events with murals driving visitation to the region throughout the year and generating around $6 million towards the state’s visitor economy. The Labor Government’s Regional Events Fund is helping rural and regional towns across Victoria secure strong calendars of events which create local jobs and provide compelling attractions for community members. Benalla is part of the High Country tourism region, which attracted more than 4 million domestic and international visitors who spent an estimated $1.3 billion in the year to March. These impressive results come off the back of the Government’s investment in tourism which has helped deliver more than 200 events across our regions, and major tourism campaigns including the new regional promotion Your Happy Space. The Wall to Wall Festival will run from April 3-5 2020. For more information visit www.walltowallfestival.com. Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development and Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “In just four years this festival has grown into a world-class event, bringing thousands of visitors and enhancing Benalla’s reputation as Australia’s regional art capital.” “We’re so proud to support events like this which as well as bringing fantastic art to regional Victoria, support local jobs and boost country businesses.”   Quote attributable to Tourism North East chief executive Amber Gardner “We’d like to thank the Victorian Government for investing in regional tourism and local businesses by supporting the Wall to Wall Festival.”

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