Parent & Children’s Expo to connect Gladstone parents with support services
Gladstone parents and carers will have the chance to meet with health, education, recreation and social support service providers from across the region, all under the one roof for the first time, at the Parent & Children’s Expo.
The free event will be held at the Gladstone Events Centre – Yaralla Sports Club on Friday 4 November from 9am to 2pm.
It is organised by Gladstone Communities for Children, Autism Queensland and Queensland Government Department of Education and Training.
The event will feature guest speakers, interactive stalls, demonstrations and classes including free Kindermusik music groups and a workshop with Meraki Circus, Dance and Entertainment performers.
The aim is to not only connect parents to the many support services available in Gladstone, it will also bring together the over 50 professionals and support organisations working with children and families across the region to build networks and connections.
“For many families trying to navigate a network of support services in the Gladstone region it can be like being lost without a GPS device,” says Gladstone Communities for Children Executive Office Wendy Morris.
“There are a whole range of free support services available for families right here in Gladstone yet many people don’t know where to go to get the help that they need,” she said.
“We also want to assist professionals within our community to connect with service providers outside their own fields so that they can better collaborate to assist each other and the families that they support.
“We want to stop having the same conversations over and over and start working together more effectively for the community.”
Autism Queensland Gladstone Team Leader, Bonita Chard, said many local parents were travelling to Rockhampton, Bundaberg or Brisbane for support when often the services they needed were in Gladstone.
“Families are incurring the cost and inconvenience of travel when often we can support people right here in their own community,” she said.
Bonita said teachers often felt pressure be ‘be a one-stop-shop and do everything for everyone’.
“With Autism prevalence on the rise, teachers are more likely than ever before to have a child with Autism in their classrooms
“We want teachers, parents and carers to know that they are not alone and that they can collaborate with local support services or get a referral to ensure they get the support they need,” she said.
The Gladstone Parent & Children’s Expo will be held at the Gladstone Events Centre – Yaralla Sports Club, corner of Wood and Bell Streets, Barney Point on Friday 4 November from 9am to 2pm. Admission is free.