Helping Multiple Generations of Queensland Families
Since the COVID pandemic we at BUSHkids have been very focused on building and fitting out the new teleBUSHkids Centre in our Toowong precinct. Telepractice gives us the opportunity to provide more services to more families across the state. We were delighted that in late May the centre was officially opened by Queensland’s Deputy Premier, Hon Dr Steven Miles. Most pleasing was seeing and chatting to so many of our supporters at the event as it was thanks to your continued support that we could make the dream of a purpose-built telepractice centre a reality. I am pleased to report that thanks to your help we have already provided support to 85 children and families attending 492 sessions from the new centre.
While the new teleBUSHkids centre is very much the future of BUSHkids, we must remember that it does not replace but complements our ongoing face-to-face supports. Over what is now nearly 90 years of the Royal Queensland Bush Childrens Health Scheme we have helped thousands of Queensland families and our longevity as an organisation now means we have supported and are continuing to support multiple generations of families living in regional, rural and remote Queensland.
This was brought home to me by a touching case study from this year’s annual report which will be released in December, and I would like to share some of that with you. The case study was provided by Julianne, our Child and Family Facilitator in Inglewood, a community of a little under 1,000 people out on the southwestern edge of the Darling Downs.
BUSHkids has been supporting the Inglewood and Texas communities since 1990 and many families in small rural communities can remember the services and support BUSHkids provided from when they were children. Emma, a busy mother looking after 10 children, has received support from BUSHkids from as far back as she can remember. BUSHkids provided support to her mother, for herself as a child and mother, and now to her children and grandchild. Emma sees BUSHkids as an integral part of her family and has built up a strong relationship with our current Child and Family Facilitator in Inglewood and previous facilitator, Sue Clarke.
Sue started working for BUSHkids back in 1990 and was a key figure in Emma’s life growing up. “BUSHkids has been a part of my family for nearly my whole life…There are not a lot of services out this way and Suzie was a legend. Everyone knew her. She was a wonderful person who would do anything she could to help you. She did a lot for my mother who had her hands full with three young children. You could ask her anything and she would know, or she would find out”.
Sue retired in 2019; however, through attending the BUSHkids playgroup and parenting programs Emma has developed a strong relationship with our current Child and Family Facilitator in Inglewood, Julianne. “I have done parenting programs through BUSHkids. I did Circle of Security training and had the chance to take my kids to the BUSHkids playgroup every week. This has really helped with working through problems a couple of my kids were having with separation anxiety. The BUSHkids playgroup is really important out here. Especially when you live out of town and don’t get out much. It’s a chance to see people and have some adult interaction. Having BUSHkids here every week makes it feel not so remote and having a regular visiting service means you get to speak to someone outside your immediate family circle.”
Emilie, Emma’s eldest child, also visits the BUSHkids playgroup whenever she is home staying with her mum and she brings her own child, Emma’s grandchild Ace, making three generations of BUSHkids supported mothers and four generations of BUSHkids children.
“We all love our BUSHkids Wednesdays, seeing other people and learning more about parenting and talking to other parents. BUSHkids has been the biggest influence and support I’ve had as a parent. They were there to support my mum; they are there for me and now are there for my daughter.”
It’s touching that BUSHkids has provided help and support to four generations of this family living in rural Queensland and we have many other examples of this multi-generational support across the state. With your ongoing support we will be able to help more generations of families like Emma’s. Any gift of $2 or more is tax deductable and to make donation easier, you can give online through our website; go to bushkids.org.au and click on the ‘Donate’ button.
We couldn’t continue to provide our free services for children and families in regional, rural and remote Queensland without your generous support. Thank you again for being part of our BUSHkids family and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
Child and Family Facilitator providing a Birdie’s Tree Learning Program to children, with Birdie’s friend Frog sitting on a lily pad on a pond.
Chief Executive Officer
 While this is a real case, personal information about the child and location has been changed to protect the family’s privacy.