Knowledge and insights gained through collaboration with Wellbeing SA have informed a strong and strategic submission from the Flinders’ Caring Futures Institute to the Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care, for which the recommendations were handed down by Julia Guillard in August this year.
Flinders University’s Caring Futures Institute and Wellbeing SA have been collaboratively working together to improve the South Australian Early Years System through a partnership which is supported by a joint appointment held by Research Fellow Dr Sarah Hunter.
Through this partnership and joint appointment, the Caring Futures Institute works with Wellbeing SA and other key stakeholders in South Australia to shape an evidence-informed Early Years System in South Australia that engages and supports parents and caregivers for improved child health, development, and wellbeing.
On 27 September, 30 days after the release of the final report, a panel convened by Healthy Development Adelaide comprising key stakeholders in the Early Years came together to discuss the Royal Commission recommendations as well as innovations and opportunities for collaboration in South Australia to improve our Early Years System,
Deputy Director Professor Rebecca Golley presented alongside Laurianne Reinsborough, Director, Health Promotion Branch, Wellbeing SA, Natalie Atkinson, Head, Office for the Early Years, Department for Education, South Australia, and Lynn Kutzner, Co-Director, Child and Family Health Services, South Australia.
At this event, it was explored how the South Australia Government has initially accepted 13 of the Royal Commission recommendations while a full analysis of the report is underway to inform a whole of Government response to the Royal Commission. Professor Golley highlighted the various ways in which the Caring Futures Institute is working in partnership with these agencies to support the uptake and implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations.
Dr Hunter, being a public servant, as part of her joint appointment with Wellbeing SA, attended the annual Premier’s Address to the Public Sector on October 5, 2023. At this event, the South Australian Premier, the Hon Peter Malinauskas MP, emphasised the government’s commitment to policies, legislation, and financial support to ensure the development and thriving of all South Australian children.
Dr Hunter emphasised the significance of this joint appointment to understand State Government priorities.
“The collaboration between Flinders University and Wellbeing SA has allowed us to provide a comprehensive contribution to the Royal Commission and the Governments endeavours to support South Australian families. It’s heartening to see the commitment of the South Australian government to the betterment of child and family wellbeing.”
The joint efforts between Flinders University’s Caring Futures Institute and Wellbeing SA signify a pivotal stride towards University’s partnering with Government departments and agencies to develop evidence-informed solutions to ensure a brighter future for South Australian children and families.