Lifestyle

Lulla’s Children and Family Centre celebrate 10th birthday

By James Bennett

Lulla’s Children and Family Centre celebrated its 10th annual health day on Friday, assisting Aboriginal children to receive vital health checks.

Parents were able to learn about the health services available, as well as the kids having access to fun activities.

Private rooms were set up for families for consultations, dental checks, Maternal Child Health (MCH) checks, hearing checks, optometry and speech pathology.

Lulla’s chief executive Miranda Edwards said it was important Aboriginal children received equal treatment.

‘‘Statistics and data show Aboriginal children suffer from health concerns and if we get that early intervention in, it’s so important to make sure they’re school ready,’’ Mrs Edwards said.

‘‘We want it to be a fun day because health checks can be scary if they’re getting an immunisation.

‘‘Each kid has left with a show bag, plus we’ve also created specially designed shirts for the day.

‘‘It’s about saying ‘we’re here in Shepparton’ and creating the proper referral process.

‘‘After today we take the forms each family fills out and if there’s a note on it that says ‘please help this family’ our family support team will follow it up.

‘‘We want every child to go to school and be healthy.’’

More than 100 children registered for free health checks yesterday.

Mrs Edwards said the day became possible following a simple inquiry 10 years ago.

‘‘Two parents spoke to me about their children needing an immunisation or MCH check,’’ she said.

‘‘I suggested we open Lulla’s up, so when they come here it’s all in one place.

‘‘Then we thought, why not include dental, hearing and an optometrist.

‘‘We put it out to the community and it has grown.

‘‘We’ve had over 1000 children complete health checks in the 10 years and closed the gap in MCH checks and immunisation in this region.’’

Some of the groups involved last week were: Save The Children, Family Care, CatholicCare Sandhurst, Greater Shepparton Communities for Children, Department of Education, Primary Care Connect, KU Children’s Services, Relationships Australia, Rumbalara Co-Op, Rumbalara Dental Services, Bridge Youth Service, Shepparton Festival, University of Melbourne and Centrelink.