City of Onkaparinga – A Learning Destination and Learning Hub
Two Regional Partnerships
A key component of the Children’s University (CU) program is the development of partnerships that support families living in regional and remote areas, particularly those living in areas with disadvantage. By facilitating access to high-quality and engaging learning activities, CU tries to ensure that no-one is left out.
Clifford’s Honey Farm and the Renmark Paringa Council are great examples of CU regional Public Learning Destination partnerships.
Clifford’s Honey Farm
Partners since 2018, Clifford’s Honey Farm is located on Kangaroo Island. A family-run business crossing three generations, the honey farm provides visitors with quality honey, select regional produce and information on the unique Ligurian bee. Their Kidz Quiz, available at reception, gives local and interstate visitors an insight into this extremely important industry.
‘At Clifford’s Honey Farm on Kangaroo Island we have the Children’s University members doing a bee quiz. Children enjoy learning about the bees on Kangaroo Island. It is fun for them to learn something while they are on holiday. When children finish the quiz they get a stamp in their book which is part of the program. I think it is a good thing for families so they can help their children with extracurricular learning.’ Sharon, Clifford’s Honey Farm, 2020.
After the devastating bushfires in 2020, CU contacted Clifford’s Honey Farm and other regional Public Learning Destination partners to offer our support. This has resulted in the creation of the Clifford’s Honey Farm online activity which CU promotes through its social media platform and the CU Student Portal. This has quickly become one of our top ten most popular activities.
To find out more about Clifford’s Honey Farm, please visit their website.
CU continues to support Public Learning Destination partners in bushfire affected regions through a range of activities. In mid-2020, CU launched three new schools within the Kangaroo Island Community Education group.
By increasing the network of CU members in remote and regional Australia, CU is able to fulfil its goal of providing equitable access to learning activities.
Renmark Paringa Council
Set in the South Australian Riverland, the Renmark Paringa Council have been an active Public Learning Destination partner since 2018. Always ready to support their regional CU members, the Council offers a range of validated activities and school holiday programs through the Chaffey Community Centre, Renmark Paringa Public Library and Renmark Visitor Information Centre. They also run the popular Riverfront Discovery Trail activity.
In 2018, the Council kindly allowed CU to hold the very first Riverland graduation ceremony within the Renmark Paringa council chambers. Certificates were presented to children by the Deputy Mayor, Cr Peter Hunter and attended by 52 CU members and their families.
‘Across our sites including our Library, Community Centre, Landcare and Visitor Information Centre who are all registered for Children’s University (under the banner of Renmark Paringa Council) we have seen positive impacts since the inception of the program. These have included children specifically attending activities because of the link to Children’s University which has meant an increase in numbers of participants at some of our activities as well as children being provided with a variety of educational experiences they may not usually partake in. We believe this indicates that the message of what Children’s University is and what the benefit is of being a part of this program is getting out to our community.’ Melissa Amos, Acting Chief Executive Officer, 2018.
CU has long understood that collaboration is the key to building successful relationships with our regional partners and remote CU members. As such, we continue to look for ways in which we can work together to support new learning experiences.
In April 2019, CU were able to facilitate a Loxton local, Dr Georgina Sylvia (2014 – 2018 Doctor of Philosophy (Chemical Sciences), in the delivery of an interactive ‘Strawberry DNA’ school holiday program held at the Chaffey Community Centre and Morgan Activity Centre. These one hour sessions were open to all local residents and CU members. Georgina is a regular volunteer at the metropolitan graduation ceremonies at Bonython Hall on the campus of the University of Adelaide. In 2019, she also presented certificates at the Riverland graduation held on the Waikerie Riverfront.
By building long-lasting relationships with our Public Learning Destination Partners, CU is able to fulfil its goal of improving educational outcomes in regional and remote Australia.