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Byron Shire
May 26, 2024

Federal Community Children’s Centre recognised by Department of Education

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Suzu with a flower from the bush tucker shrub, Melastoma affine, or blue tongue tree. It’s known for its sweet berries, which stain your tongue blue. This is one of the many treats growing in Federal’s Mandala Garden. Photo Jeff ‘Blue Tongue Press Reptile’ Dawson

Federal Community Children’s Centre director, Mandala Diehl, says the Centre’s unique Bush Tucker Living Classroom and community-based centre received a high commendation from the Department of Education in November 2021.

Mandala says the centre has been around for more than 42 years and was ‘set up by the community, for the community, with an aim of providing options to best meet families’ needs’.  

Big changes

‘In late 2021, we went through a huge change, owing to the government mandates and we were lucky enough to be able to survive.

‘Sadly, many other local community-based services have struggled and even been forced to close’.

Assistant director, Linda Watson adds, ‘We feel blessed that we have been able to retain and attract enough staff, owing to a great deal of emphasis upon connection.

‘[It’s] Connection with each other, connection with community and connection with nature. Our nature-based program encourages a love of, and respect for, nature’.

‘Children are enabled to explore our bush tucker garden/outdoor environment, building deep knowledge, skills, respect and a sense of wonder in the natural world.’

‘The importance of high-quality early childhood education is internationally proven in studies, showing the long-term effects of quality play-based education prior to school’.

For more information, visit www.federalccc.com.au.


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