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					The Knox Early Years Project
             Rowville

   December 2003 Report




       Compiled by Sue James
     Early Years Project Facilitator
                                                                             Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003




Table of Contents
   Table of Contents ................................................................................................................... 1
   Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 2
   Background ............................................................................................................................ 2
       The Early Years Project in Rowville.................................................................................. 3
           Population....................................................................................................................... 3
           Ethnicity and Languages Spoken ................................................................................... 3
           Socio-Economic Factors ................................................................................................ 4
           Other Relevant Background Information....................................................................... 4
   Appreciative Inquiry .............................................................................................................. 6
       The 4-D Cycle .................................................................................................................... 6
           Discover ......................................................................................................................... 6
           Dream ............................................................................................................................. 7
           Design............................................................................................................................. 7
           Deliver............................................................................................................................ 7
       In Summary ........................................................................................................................ 7
   Implementation Models.......................................................................................................... 8
       Logic Model ....................................................................................................................... 8
       Mind Map........................................................................................................................... 8
   Progress to Date ................................................................................................................... 11
       Define ............................................................................................................................... 11
           Activities ...................................................................................................................... 11
           Achievements ............................................................................................................... 12
       Discover ........................................................................................................................... 13
           Activities ...................................................................................................................... 13
           Achievements ............................................................................................................... 13
       Advisory Group................................................................................................................ 14
       Evaluation......................................................................................................................... 15
   Final Comments ................................................................................................................... 16
Sue James ................................................................................................................................. 17
   Acknowledgements .............................................................................................................. 18
   Appendix .............................................................................................................................. 21
       Knox Early Years Project: Interview Summary Sheet [1] ............................................... 21
       Knox Early Years Project: Interview Summary Sheet [2] ............................................... 25



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                                                              Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003


Introduction
Brief monthly project reports have been provided for the Knox Early Years Project since its
commencement in June 2003. Now that the project has been operating for six months, a more
comprehensive report is being submitted. This report is designed to:
•     Outline the local background for the Knox Early Years Project;
•     Explain Appreciative Inquiry, the framework in which the Knox Early Years Project is
      being implemented;
•     Outline a broad implementation plan for the two years of the project; and
•     Report on progress to date.

Background
The Knox Early Years Project is about building community connections. It aims to help the
Rowville community improve networks and services for families with children between birth
and 6 years. This project is a partnership between Good Beginnings Australia, the Centre for
Community Child Health and the City of Knox. It is funded through the R.E. Ross Trust and
is one component of a more extensive initiative, described by the Trust as follows:
In 2001, The Ross Trust provided a grant of $90,000 to the Centre for Community Child
Health to work with Good Beginnings Australia on Phase One of a multi-year project to
refocus community-based services for young children and their families. The aim is to refocus
service delivery towards prevention, early detection and early intervention rather than trying
to manage established problems. Phase One of the project examined recent research
evidence, tested ideas with community organisations and members and Local Government,
identified the tools and types of assistance required and prepared a Literature Review.
Phase Two, the definitive three-year phase of the project, has begun with a first year grant
from the Ross Trust of $356,524. This Phase is designed to develop, implement and evaluate a
range of processes, structures, materials and resources which will support communities in
refocusing their services for children and families. The aims are to improve co-ordination
between different programs and different professional groups; utilise evidence-based methods
of early detection of problems and risk factors; engage with parents in service planning and
delivery; work with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities; involve all
stakeholders by establishing an appropriately constituted community reference group; design
data collection tools such as community needs surveys and evaluation processes for different
target audiences; undertake mapping exercises of resources and facilities available in the
community; and address issues of sustainability.
These materials and resources, together with documented guidelines for community
development processes and structures, will be developed in close consultation with several
local government areas in Victoria. Once they have been completed and evaluated, they will
then be made available to local communities throughout the country; in Victoria this will be
pursued in partnership with the Municipal Association of Victoria. They are likely to be a
valuable resource that will inform the increasing number of policy initiatives and service
redevelopment frameworks that are taking place around the country, as governments and
managers begin to realise the implications of the research evidence.1



1
    Project description from the R.E.Ross Trust website


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                                                                Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003


The Knox Early Years Project is part of Phase Two. Following the broad aims outlined above,
the project is designed to enhance the capacity of the Rowville community to support families
with young children by taking a strength-based approach to change. It is being implemented
within a framework called Appreciative Inquiry2, which focuses on community strengths
rather than community needs.
In utilising Appreciative Inquiry, the Knox Early Years Project is also one of the first
initiatives of its kind in Australia. Documentation and outcomes of this project will therefore
contribute significantly to documented guidelines for community development processes and
structures, as outlined above.

The Early Years Project in Rowville
The suburb of Rowville was chosen by the project partners for implementation of the Early
Years Project. Rowville is a part of one of the major growth corridors in Melbourne. Some of
the demographic information relevant to the Early Years Project is as follows.

Population
As can be seen from the table below, 21% of the total population of Knox lives in Rowville,
whereas 28% of children from birth to 11 years of age live there. It was therefore appropriate
to locate the Early Years Project within the area of Rowville which has a significantly higher
percentage of children in the appropriate age group.
     Rowville Population          30,297 21% of Knox population
     Infants 0-4                  2,786      28% of Knox population
     Children 5-11                4,291      28% of Knox population
     Adults 35-49                 8,282      24% of Knox population
     Adults 60-84                 2,083      12% of Knox population

Ethnicity and Languages Spoken
The majority (73%) of the Rowville population speaks only English at home. Given these
demographics, while involvement of CALD families is crucial for successful implementation
of the project, the majority of service providers and families involved will be English
speaking.
   Total Population            30,297
     Australian Born                 20,588           68% of Rowville population
     Australian Citizens             27,038           89% of Rowville population
     Speak English Only              22,206           73% of Rowville population
Of the remaining languages spoken, the top ten are as follows:
   Chinese languages (5.0%)        Polish (0.9%)
   Italian (2.9%)                  Vietnamese (0.8%)
   Greek (2.1%)                    Tagalog (0.8%)
   Arabic (1.7%)                   Croatian (0.6%)
   Singhalese (0.9%)               Hindi (0.5%)



2
    For further information on Appreciative Inquiry see P 6 of this report.


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                                                    Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003


Socio-Economic Factors
As can be seen in the graph below, in terms of economic factors Rowville is a very diverse
community, containing some of the poorest and some of the wealthies families in Knox. As
one Primary School Principal commented: “In our school, some of our parents could write a
million dollar cheque tomorrow, but others are not sure where their next meal is coming
from.”




Other Relevant Background Information
A number of key issues affecting families with young children in the Rowville community
have been gleaned from conversations with Rowville residents and service providers.
•   Child care, family day care, preschool and other general children’s services are much in
    demand, with (in some cases) long waiting lists.
•   Some areas of Rowville appear to speak of wealth and comfortable living. There are huge
    homes, cheek-by-jowl on suburban-sized blocks. However even in these areas there are
    examples of “hidden poverty”. Families are committed to huge mortgages and some are
    living in large homes that they are unable to finish or furnish. Others may be asset rich but
    cash poor – another factor that can contribute to family stress.
•   Most Rowville residents work outside the area. It has been called a “drive in – drive out
    suburb”. Streets are largely deserted during the day, many houses are closed and shuttered.
•   Rowville has the highest rate of substantiated mandatory reports in Victoria, a sign that
    many families are under significant stress.
•   Many first-time mothers in Rowville have previously worked full time outside the
    community and have not developed friendship or support networks with others in their
    own neighbourhood. Isolation is identified as a key problem for these young mothers.
•   There are “pockets” in Rowville – individual streets for example – in which many families
    are categorised as “high needs” by service providers.


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                                                          Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003


•   Counselling and other family service providers identify Rowville as an area of high need.
    However a number have also mentioned that, when additional services are provided for
    families in Rowville, “nobody comes”.
•   Lack of good public transport is seen as a significant issue for families in Rowville. For
    those without a car, this is obviously a major barrier to accessing services and/or other
    community activities that support families. Even for those with a vehicle, access to basic
    services and infrastructure is not always easy. For example, as one service provider
    mentioned: “Mothers have to load up the four-wheel drive with three small children and
    the baby to drive up the street for a loaf of bread.”
In implementing the Knox Early Years Project, one approach could have been to focus on
these issues and implement problem-solving approaches to develop appropriate solutions.
However initial interviews and conversations with Rowville residents and service providers
also highlighted a number of other factors, such as:
•   Rowville is, for many people, a wonderful place to live or work with young children.
•   Many people value the connections available for them in the community. For example
    Maternal and Child Health services, first-time mothers groups and playgroups are key
    points of contact for new parents and families with young children.
•   Knox City Council employs a full-time coordinator to support playgroups across the
    municipality. The Coordinator also provides support and resourcing for playgroup
    committee members.
•   There are a large number of community activities and organisations that provide very
    important support and connections for families. For example: many churches run
    playgroups, coffee mornings and other activities; the Rowville Branch Library runs
    storytime sessions and craft activities for parents with young children; the Rowville Have
    a Go group (cricket skills for children from the age of 4) involves 135 families – it is the
    largest one in Victoria.
•   Many residents and service providers do not subscribe to the view that Rowville is a
    “problem area”. They also suggest Rowville’s strengths and attractive features are
    frequently ignored when programs are being implemented.
Within the above context, through consultation with various community members3,
Appreciative Inquiry has been selected as the framework for implementing the Knox Early
Years Project.
The topic for this Appreciative Inquiry is: “Rowville at its best for families with young
children”.




3
  These community members included representatives from children’s service providers, playgroups, churches,
schools and other community organisations. Also consulted were management representatives from Knox City
Council Children’s Services.


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                                                               Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003



Appreciative Inquiry
Appreciative Inquiry is a strengths-based approach to change – sometimes called a “positive
revolution in change”. It is a simple technique with a complex background, which been used
successfully all over the world to consult with people and learn from their experiences,
involve a whole community in change and development and build a vision for the future that
everyone can share and help put into practice
One of the underlying principles of Appreciative Inquiry is that any community contains
within it the information and resource to renew itself. This is very different from other
practices which rely on outside “experts” to come in, recommend or implement solutions and
leave.
Utilising this framework the Knox Early Years Project is committed to:
• Involving as many people from the community as possible
• Listening to the views of those in the community and those working closely with the
   community
• Empowering as many people as possible to take part in the development process
Appreciative Inquiry follows a four step process, usually called the “4-D Cycle”, outlined in
the diagram below:


                                                       Discover
                                                    "What gives life?"
                                                   The best of what is.
                                                      Appreciating



                              Deliver                                              Dream
                          "How to empower,         Affirmative Topic          "What might be?"
                                                                              Envisioning Results
                      learn & adjust/improvise?"        Choice
                               Sustain




                                                        Design
                                                   "What should be?"
                                                    Co-constructing
The 4-D Cycle
Discover
This stage is about finding out what has worked in the past. It seeks to find out people’s best
experiences – experiences they are enthusiastic about and of which they are proud. So as well
as collecting information, this stage is also about involving people and building on their
natural enthusiasm. The main approach for this stage is conducting appreciative interviews.
These are conducted by people in the organisation or community, not by outsiders – an
important part of the Appreciative Inquiry process:
      Time and again it has been found that if members of a community carry out the
      appreciative interviews then the results are far more powerful than if the
      interviews are carried out ‘survey style’ by outsiders.4


4
    The Voice of the Learner Project - Community Consultation. (Barnet, UK)


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                                                    Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003


Dream
This stage is about moving from the past to the future. Having discovered best practice
examples from the past and identified what made them work, we now look to the future - how
we can recreate these good experiences and build on them? What would we like to see for the
future? How do we want things to be?

Design
This stage is about the present. How can we move from where we are now to this vision of
the future that we have created? How can we put the ideas into practice? Who will be
involved? This is the stage in which practical strategies and actions are developed by the
community in order to build on the strengths that have been identified and move towards their
vision of an improved future.

Deliver
This stage is about putting it into practice and allowing the ideas to flourish and develop.
Traditional project planning and management tools might be used, but above all there must be
a willingness to allow for change. There is also an emphasis on empowering and encouraging
people to take forward their own ideas. This is very close to traditional ideas of capacity
building.
It is also important to note that these stages are not always discrete or linear in nature. It is
possible for one activity to be developed and implemented according to the Design or Deliver
stages of the process, while interviews are being conducted on another topic or issue in
accordance with the Discover phase.

In Summary
Appreciative Inquiry:
   • Offers a special invitation and call to people in the community to be change leaders
   • Is a positive approach to change
   • Has many applications across many different disciplines, sectors and organisations
   • Is self-organizing
   • Builds relationships
   • Connects people, organisations and communities through knowledge sharing and
      storytelling
As mentioned above, the Affirmative Topic Choice for the Knox Early Years Project is
“Rowville at its best for families with young children.” Through Appreciative Inquiry, The
Knox Early Years Project aims to find out what people value most about Rowville.
Information is gathered about people’s past experience of this community as a place for
young children, especially good experiences. The project also seeks to understand how
people from different cultures view and value Rowville.
This information is gathered, along with people’s stories about Rowville at its best, and
shared at community forums.
Members of the community are then supported to plan practical activities, projects or other
strategies that will help make Rowville the best it can be for families with young children.
Activities are supported through the Early Years Project but are developed by the community
for the community.
Existing community resources and assets are used and creative ways are developed to add
resources as needed to achieve the best outcomes for young children and their families.

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                                                    Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003




Implementation Models
In addition to the above information, two models help to illustrate the process for
implementing the Knox Early Years Project within the Appreciative Inquiry framework.
Diagrams may be viewed on the next two pages. Below are some additional comments.

Logic Model
A logic model describes anticipated inputs, outputs and outcomes for a project, within the
context of assumptions made about the project and external factors affecting its
implementation.
Some people see the logic model as a very structured, top-down approach to program design.
It is equated with a program delivery model where the program is designed, delivered, and
"produces" outcomes. Program participants are viewed as passive recipients in the flow of
action.
However in reality program development is a very dynamic, iterative process. Active
participants are involved, interact with and influence the flow of action and outcomes
achieved. They are partners, not objects, in program delivery. Possibilities and potential
cause-effect relationships are numerous, not restricted to predetermined boxes and arrows.
The logic model is a systems model: not a simple, "input causes output causes outcome"
model but one where cause-effect relationships are connected in multiple and nonlinear ways.
The logic model below for the Knox Early Years Project does not satisfactorily illustrate the
multiple chains of activity, with horizontal, vertical, and diagonal connectors between and
among components, including the external environment. For greater visual simplicity,
connections and circular feedback loops have not been incorporated into the diagram.
Within this limitation, the diagram may nevertheless provide a useful model illustrating
design for project implementation.

Mind Map
A mind map is intended to be read from the upper right, in a clockwise direction.
In the mind map of the Knox (Rowville) Early Years Project can be seen an outline of the
four phases of the Appreciative Inquiry cycle – Discover, Dream, Design and Deliver. Under
each of these are listed appropriate activities involved.
A fifth “D” – Define – has also been added at the start of the process. This outlines the
activities included in the very early stages of implementation. This phase incorporated such
things as:
• Orientation for the project facilitator, subsequent to employment
• Meetings with a large number of local residents and service providers
• Consultation resulting in the decision to use Appreciative Inquiry as the framework for the
    project.
• Program planning
• Development and distribution of a program brochure
• Design and development of a training module for volunteers prepared to act as
    Appreciative Interviewers.
Again, although limited in its scope, the mind map serves as a tool to illustrate the
implementation design for the Knox Early Years Project.

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                                                                                                                      Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003

Logic Model of: Rowville Early Years Project
Situation:
Refocusing community based services for young children and their families.
Appreciative Topic – “Rowville at its best for young children and their families”


                                                   Outputs                                                          Outcomes – Impact
         Inputs
                                 Activities                     Participation                 Short Term               Medium Term                   Long Term

What we invest:                  What we do:                   Who we                   What the short term       What the medium term         What the ultimate
                                                               reach:                   results are:              results are:                 results are:
Facilitator                      Appreciative Inquiry:
                                 1) Define – identify local    Local early              Local workers, families   Effective networks           Increased community
 In kind support                 stakeholders; key issues      childhood                and other volunteers      established in Rowville to   capacity to support
- Knox City Council              for community; focus for      services &               learn appreciative        support the early years:     families with young
- Local businesses (as           Early Years Project.          workers                  approach to community     - workers                    children
     appropriate)                2) Discover – conduct AI                               improvement               - families
                                 training and assist           Families with                                      - other stakeholders         Improved integration
Volunteers                       volunteer interviewers        young children           Shared vision for early                                and linkages between
                                 3) Dream – assist                                      childhood services                                     early childhood
                                 stakeholders to develop a     Businesses               developed for Rowville    Ongoing improved             services in Rowville
                                 vision for early childhood                                                       support strategies
                                 support and services in       Churches                 Meaningful and            established for families     Increased
                                 Rowville                                               practical projects        with young children          connectedness for
                                 4) Design – establish         Other                    implemented to                                         families with young
                                 action groups and assist      stakeholders             enhance family            Facilitator role becomes     children in Rowville
                                 with designing practical      as identified            involvement in            redundant
                                 projects                                               community and improve
                                 5) Deliver – support                                   (short term) outcomes
                                 project implementation                                 for children.


                                 Assumptions                                                                         External Factors
                                                                                                                         Best Start
        Community participation is paramount for effective development                            Knox Children’s Services Three Year Across Council Plan
              A strengths based approach is the most effective                                    CCCH Training Program – to be trialled and implemented
         Appreciative Inquiry is a helpful framework to implement this


                                                                               EVALUATION



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                Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003




Mind Map




           10
                                                   Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003



Progress to Date
The Knox Early Years Project has entered the “Discover” stage of the Appreciative Inquiry
process. The “Define” stage, as outlined in the above mind map, was the establishment phase
of the project.
Activities and achievements for each stage to date are described below. It should also be
noted these two stages are not linear. Activities and achievements are outlined in relation to
process stages, not chronology. For example, initial meetings (introduction to the project)
were continuing with some individuals and organisations in the same timeframe that training
was provided for volunteer interviewers.
In addition to reporting on progress for these two stages of the Appreciative Inquiry cycle,
further comments are provided in relation to establishing an advisory group for the project
and on its evaluation.

Define
The establishment phase of the project included the engagement and induction of the project
facilitator. It incorporated a number of meetings with different individuals and groups across
Rowville to introduce to them the Early Years Project. It also established Appreciative
Inquiry as a suitable framework for project implementation.

Activities
• Orientation period for the project facilitator, including a visit to Good Beginings Australia
  Head Office in Sydney and establishment of appropriate administrative arrangements for
  the project.
•   Introduction of the Project Facilitator to Knox City Councillors
•   Meetings/visits with the following individuals and organisations:
    - 4 of the 7 Council-managed Preschools
    - The 1 Council-managed Child Care Centre in Rowville.
    - 5 Children’s Services program coordinators at Knox City Council,
    - Knox City Council Children’s Services staff - various
    - Counsellor and Acting Manager, Rowville Salvation Army
    - Coordinator, Uniting Care
    - Minister - Uniting Church
    - Pastor, Rowville Baptist Church
    - Pastor, Hillside Community Church
    - 2 parents (referred by Playgroup Field Officer)
    - 3 M&CH nurses based in Rowville
    - Coordinator, Rowville Community Centre
    - Coordinator, Rowville Neighbourhood House
    - Principals of Heany Park, Karoo and Park Ridge Primary schools
    - Assistant Principals of Eastern and Western Campuses of Rowville Secondary College
    - Coordinator, Rowville Branch Library
    - Coordinators of 5 of the 6 private childcare services in Rowville.
    - Lifestyle Video Productions - a small business run by a husband and wife team.
    - Principal of St Simon’s Catholic Primary School (only Catholic primary school in the
      area)
    - Welfare Liaison Officer of Rowville Lions Club



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                                                    Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003


    -   Member of the Baptist Church congregation who expressed an interest in the project
        and AI training
    -   Pastoral Assistant of St Simon’s Parish
    -   Coordinator of the Rowville Have a Go group (cricket skills for children from kinder
        age)
•   Presentations to groups:
    - Heany Park Primary School Council
    - Parents and Friends group at Heany Park PS
    - Knox Family Care Network
    - Knox Preschool teachers
    - Rowville Playgroup Committee Network.
    - Knox Maternal and Child Health Nurses
    - Rowville Apex Club
    - Knox Family Day Care – staff and carers
    - Knox City Council Child Care Centre Coordinators
•   In addition to the above meetings, there were a number of other telephone conversations
    with representatives from different organisations and groups in Rowville. Some did not
    have time to meet with the facilitator or be involved in the project at this time, but all
    indicated in-principle support for the project.
•   Appreciative Inquiry was proposed as the most appropriate framework for implementing
    the Knox Early Years Project.

Achievements
• There were consistently positive responses from meetings, interviews and presentations in
  relation to the Early Years Project and the concept of Appreciative Inquiry. As one
  preschool teacher commented, “It’s so nice to be talking about positive things for a
  change!”. This sentiment was echoed by several others during the course of the above
  meetings and presentations.
•   Once the project framework was decided, a brochure for the project was developed and
    printed for distribution. This has been used subsequently at meetings and conferences to
    distribute information about the project.
•   A PowerPoint presentation was developed on the Early Years Project and Appreciative
    Inquiry. This has subsequently been expanded, reduced and adapated as appropriate for
    different purposes and audiences.
•   All contacts, both individuals and representatives of organisations, were entered into a
    spreadsheet for reference and mail out purposes etc. (119 to date).
•   The editor of Rowville Lysterfield Community News offered her support in publicising
    the project and any activities. She also indicated she would be happy to publish good
    stories obtained through the Appreciative Inquiry process.
•   Assistant Principals of the two campuses of Rowville Secondary College were extremely
    supportive. Several possibilities for involvement were discussed, including having some
    students from the school trained and involved as Appreciative Interviewers in the project.
    This will not take place until 2004, but the interest and agreement to become involved is
    nevertheless listed here as an achievement of the “Define” stage of the project.




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                                                    Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003


Discover
Activities
• Consultation by means of the above meetings and presentations resulted in the following
  topic to be used in the Appreciative Inquiry framework for the project: Rowville at its best
  for families with young children.
•   All meetings included invitations for volunteers to be trained in Appreciative Interviews
    and assist by doing at least one interview for the project.
•   Preparation of training materials and a resource package for volunteer interviewers.
•   Three training sessions were conducted in early September for those who volunteered.
    These incorporated one morning, one afternoon and one evening session so volunteers
    could attend at a time of day that was suitable for them.
•   (During this phase, meetings continued as listed above under “Define”)
•   Discussions with Lifestyle Video Productions in relation to support to take video footage
    of the project at different stages – possibly with a view to producing a documentary on the
    project.

Achievements
• 15 volunteer Appreciative Interviewers took part in training in early September. There
  were three sessions held – morning, afternoon and evening – to suit the needs of different
  people.
•   Participants in these sessions were:
    - 3 playgroup parents
    - 3 preschool teachers
    - 1 child care coordinator
    - 1 CSRDO
    - 1 Preschool Field Officer
    - 2 representatives from a local church congregation
    - 1 community development worker from Knox City Council
    - 1 student on placement with Knox City Council Children’s Services
    - 1 Maternal and Child Health Nurse
    - 1 Family Support Worker from Knox Community Health Service
•   A comprehensive resource package on Appreciative Inquiry and interviewing was
    developed and distributed to all volunteer interviewers. This document will be reviewed
    and revised, based on feedback from the volunteers.
•   David Morton from Lifestyle Video Productions has agreed to be involved, as
    required/requested to videotape different aspects of the project, including interviews if the
    interviewees and interviewers are willing and make the request. The first volunteer
    training session was videotaped as the start of this process.
•   An additional four volunteers were trained and provided with the resource package in
    December:
    - Coordinator, Rowville Community Centre
    - Maternal and Child Health Service Coordinator from Knox City Council
    - Preschools Coordinator from Knox City Council
    - Playgroup Coordinator from Knox City Council


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                                                               Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003


•     To date there have been six interviews completed by volunteers. With permission of
      interviewer and interviewee, two of the interview summaries are attached to this report.5 It
      is hoped/anticipated many more will be completed over the coming months until early
      next year. Information from all interviews will be collated and prepared for presentation at
      community forums and the Design phase of the Appreciative Inquiry process.
•     Feedback from the three interviewers who have so far conducted interviews indicated the
      experience was interesting and enjoyable for them as well. All three said they themselves
      learned new things about Rowville during the process.6 This is another important benefit
      of Appreciative Inquiry.7

Advisory Group
One of the activities outlined in the project description includes the need to “involve all
stakeholders by establishing an appropriately constituted community reference group”8
At this stage of the Appreciative Inquiry process, an “appropriately constituted” reference
group is an informal one – individuals across Rowville and elsewhere who can provide
support, feedback and resourcing for the project.
Establishing a formal committee or reference group too early in the Knox Early Years Project
could be counter-productive for the following reasons:
•     Once a formal group is constituted, many others in the community may see the members
      of this group and the “owners” of a project. It is crucial for this project that every
      individual involved in its early stages is a co-owner of the process, in whatever capacity
      their contribution is provided.
•     Not everyone is willing or able to be a part of a formal committee. Not only can time and
      availability be limited, but also lack of confidence and/or “meeting skills” can play a part
      in people’s reluctance to volunteer for committees. Within the Early Years Project
      everyone is invited to become involved in whatever way they feel they can contribute and
      each contribution, however small, is valued equally. If a formal group or committee is
      established too early in a project, the contribution of its members could be viewed as more
      significant or important than the contribution of others.
•     Formal committee meetings, requiring commitment of time and resources, are also not
      necessary at this stage of the project. Agreement to utilise an Appreciative Inquiry process
      was established through individual and group consultation in the establishment phase. The
      “how” of project implementation is therefore already in place – formal committee
      meetings are not required to make decisions about this.
It is anticipated reference or action groups will be established during the Design phase of the
project. Once the stories and other information have been gathered on what is working well in
Rowville, along with some hopes and dreams for improvement, the outcomes will be
presented to community forums.
At these forums and specific strategies or actions will be determined as the way forward. This
is the “Design” stage of the Appreciative Inquiry process. It will be more appropriate at this

5
    See Appendix.
6
    See interviewer comments included in Appendix - Interview Summaries
7
    See quotation, Page6, related to the “Discover” section on Appreciative Inquiry.
8
    See Introduction, Page 2.


                                                         14
                                                       Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003


stage to invite people’s commitment of energy and time for more formal meetings – to plan
and oversee implementation on specific strategies for improvement.
In the meantime, the existing reference/advisory group for the project is informal. It
comprises all those who are able to provide support, feedback and/or advise to the project
facilitator on an individual basis or as a part of existing infrastructure. For example:
•     Knox City Council Children’s Services Manager and Management Team
•     The diverse group of volunteer interviewers trained in Appreciative Inquiry
•     Network contacts, particularly in the United States, who are experienced in the
      Appreciative Inquiry process.9

Evaluation
A formal evaluation plan/process for the Knox Early Years Project has not yet been
developed.
A number of general resources on program evaluation have been collected together to inform
the development of an appropriate evaluation process. To date these resources include 12
documents and 24 websites from both Australia and overseas.
It is anticipated the main formal method of evaluation will be a specifically designed
Appreciative Inquiry, in keeping with the nature of the project itself. It will be most
appropriate to implement this inquiry later in the project, probably towards the end of 2004,
when more people have been involved in interviews, community forums and the Design phase
of the project.
At this stage, some formative evaluation has taken place on an informal basis. The
coordinator has sought feedback from meetings, presentations, and volunteer interviewers in
relation to the project and its implementation so far. The response to date has been
overwhelmingly positive in relation to supporting the project.
For example:
•     I really like the idea of Appreciative Inquiry. It’s so great to be talking about positive
      things for a change! – Preschool teacher
•     It [interviewing] was fun and I learnt things about Rowville myself that I didn’t know
      before. – Preschool teacher
•     I enjoyed it, and the interview I did told me things about Rowville I didn’t know. Shade in
      playgrounds was something I wouldn’t have thought of myself, but I think it’s something
      we could look at. – Knox City Council Community Development Officer
David Morton from Lifestyle Video Productions in Rowville will become a key partner in
evaluating the project. David will be taking video footage, as requested/required training,
interviews, community forums and the progress of the project over time. David’s
documentary at the end of the project will not only provide a great resource on the use of
Appreciative Inquiry for community development, but it will also be a very important
component of the project’s evaluation.




9
    See Final Comments, Page17


                                                  15
                                                      Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003



Final Comments
In this section, as project facilitator, I would like to add some final comments on the project to
date.
I believe there is great potential for this project to develop and document the use of
Appreciative Inquiry as a useful framework for community development or capacity building.
In utilising Appreciative Inquiry, this is the first project of its kind in Australia as far as I am
aware – certainly in the Early Childhood field.
The involvement of Lifestyle Video Productions in Rowville is also an exciting development,
providing as it does the possibility of producing a video documentary of the project and its
implementation. If this is successful, it will also be a wonderful resource for other
communities undertaking similar work.
Given the size of the Rowville community (30,000 people) and the scope of the project, there
are times when it can seem overwhelming. I find myself wondering what one part-time
facilitator can realistically hope to achieve in supporting successful implementation across the
entire Rowville community. However I also believe the Appreciative Inquiry framework is a
very powerful one and will produce successful outcomes in time. I also hope additional
resources and personnel may be attracted into the project over time to assist its
implementation.
In relation to the above, there are over 1,800 businesses registered in Rowville. To date I have
not attempted to tap into the business community, other than Lifestyle Video Productions who
have generously agreed to support the project.
In approaching businesses with requests for assistance it is important to be specific about how
an organisation may be able to help. I anticipate when activities, projects or strategies are
identified in the Design phase of the project, it will then be more appropriate (and hopefully
beneficial) to approach other businesses in relation to specific activities and invite their
involvement or support.
Another issue relevant to the Knox Early Years Project is that, for six weeks during October
and November, I was on unpaid leave and visiting the United States. This trip was planned
prior to taking up the position of Early Years Project Facilitator, as I had registered for two
conferences: The Pegasus Systems Thinking Conference in Boston, and the Search Institute
Conference (on Developmental Assets) in San Jose.
During my trip, I also set up several meetings with people involved with and experienced in
Appreciative Inquiry. Their backgrounds were very diverse – from organisational
development in the corporate sector to working with non-profit organisations (community
organisations, schools and the like) and in the community development field. The generosity
of these contacts in sharing their experiences and expertise10 will no doubt continue to be a
very important resource for me in relation to the Early Years Project.
These international contacts could therefore in some respects be considered members of the
informal reference group for the project. Community members and service providers in
Rowville itself are of course the main source of information, advice and support for the
project and for myself as facilitator. However, the expertise and wisdom generously shared by
Appreciative Inquiry and other practitioners in the United States is also an invaluable support.



10
     See Acknowledgements, Page 19.


                                                16
                                                    Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003


One final comment I would like to make is that, having returned from my trip to the United
States, I was initially disappointed so few interviews had taken place since the initial group of
volunteers were trained.
However, I am also very aware of the pressures involved in other demands on these
volunteers, both in their work and personal lives. Time and space to conduct interviews can
be difficult to find in the face of other day-to-day commitments. Indeed, one volunteer has
subsequently and reluctantly withdrawn from the process – an understandable decision in her
particular work circumstances at the moment.
On reflection, I realise my initial disappointment was related to the classic dilemma of
community development work: the pressure for outcomes or “results”, versus the time
required in practical terms for effective progress in mobilising community.
I do know all volunteer interviewers are committed to the project and keen to be involved as
and when they are able to do so. Some have completed several interviews. Others have
indicated they will certainly be doing so once “things are quieter”, the last month or so having
been incredibly busy with other work or demands on their time.
Although not many interviews have been recorded as yet, it is anticipated this situation will
improve early in 2004. In addition to the existing group of volunteers, other people have
expressed interest in being trained in Appreciative Inquiry. Further training sessions should
therefore be conducted early in the New Year, This will increase the number of volunteer
interviewers gathering the information necessary for us to enter the Design phase of the
project.
This information – people’s stories about what is working well in Rowville as well as their
hopes and dreams for improvement – will form the basis for action “by the community for the
community” in the Design phase. Particular strategies identified by the community for
ongoing action will then be implemented during the Deliver stage in order to create Rowville
at its best for families with young children.


Sue James
16 December 2003

Knox Early Years Project
Mobile: 0407 092 298
Email: sue.james@goodbeginnings.net.au




                                               17
                                                  Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003



Acknowledgements
Major Supporters
Extensive support has been provided by the R.E. Ross Trust, the funding body for the project,
as well as by Good Beginnings Australia, the Centre for Community Child Health and Knox
City Council, the other three partners in the Knox Early Years Project. Thanks go to staff in
all the above organisations for their invaluable support and assistance.

Volunteer Appreciative Interviewers
The following people have given generously of their time to be trained in Appreciative
Inquiry and conduct the initial interviews for the project:
Nadia Agnew        Director, Rowville Preschool
Leonie Balderstone Playgroup Committee, Eildon Parade Playgroups
Heather Betts      Acting M&CH Coordinator, Knox City Council
Nigel Brown        Coordinator Rowville & FTG Community Centres
Nicole Burgess     Playgroup Committee, Taylor's Lane Playgroups
Chris Burton       Playgroup Committee, Eildon Parade Playgroups
Robyn Cardelini Family Support Worker, Knox Community Health Centre
Anne Chapman CSRDO, Knox City Council
Anne Fortune       Playgroup Field Officer, Knox City Council
Elaine Gover       Coordinator, Rowville Children's Centre
Wendy Grenfeld Preschool Field Officer, Knox City Council
Sally Kemp         Director, Rowville Preschool
Robyn Kennett      Maternal & Child Health Nurse, Park Ridge M&CH Centre
Jane    Kuchins    Community Development Officer, Knox City Council
Julie Lewis        Coordinator, Taylor's Lane Preschool
Lois    Malone     Rowville Baptist Church
Anne Morgan        Preschool Coordinator, Knox City Council
Sandy Taylor       Rowville Baptist Church

Lifestyle Video Productions
Lifestyle Video Productions is and will be providing ongoing support to the Knox Early Years
Project through videotaping training, interviews and forums as required. Special thanks to
David Morton for his time and commitment to the project.

Other Individuals
The following people have all given of their time to learn about the Knox Early Years Project
and offered in-principle support. Many may become further involved as their interest and time
allows:
Maree         Adams             M&CH Nurse                Liberty Avenue M&CH Centre
Russell       Anderson          Counsellor                Salvation Army (Lifewerx)
John          Arnott            Pastor                    Hillview Community Church
Gill          Birkett           Director                  Park Ridge Preschool


                                             18
                                                  Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003


Sharon         Bissett           Director                 Eildon Parade Preschool
Sharon         Browne            Assistant                The Fields Preschool
Margaret       Carey                                      Rowville Baptist Church
Sheree         Clough            Assistant                The Fields Preschool
Michelle       Coombs            Director                 Murrindal Preschool
Nicole         Cronin            Director                 Superior Child Care
Barbara        Crowe             Principal                Heany Park Primary School
Kerryn         Davies            Coordinator              UnitingCare-Bridgewater Centre
David          Devine            Pastor                   Rowville Baptist Church
Adrian         Dickinson         Treasurer/Public Officer Apex Club of Rowville Inc
Melissa        Eardley           Assistant Director       Little Wombats
Diane          Foster-Jennings   Director                 The Fields Preschool
Malcolm        Frazer            Minister                 Rowville Uniting Church
Judith         Frood             Principal                St Simon's Primary School
Vicki          Glenn             Assistant                Park Ridge Preschool
Warren         Griffin           Committee Member         Rowville Have a Go
Helen          Gringhuis         Assistant Principal      Heany Park Primary School
Shobha         Gupta             Family Day Carer         Knox City Council
Rodney (Jim)   Harry             Principal                Karoo Primary School
Jenny          Henry             Assistant                Murrindal Preschool
Felicity       Hills             Playgroup Committee      Murrindal Playgroups
Shirley        Hooper            Office Assistant         Rowville & District Neighbourhood House
Phillip        Hortis            Director                 Fun Skool Care and Early Learning Centre
Olga           Irodenko          Director                 Jacob Drive Child Minding Centre
Craig          Jamieson          Assistant Principal      Rowville Secondary College
Leslie         Jenkins           Coordinator              Rowville & District Neighbourhood House
Lisa           Knight            Coordinator              Rowville Children's Centre
Kath           Lovegrove         Assistant Principal      Doveton North Primary School
Pamela         Lowe              Assistant PT             Murrindal Preschool
Assunta        Mancini           SWC                      Park Ridge Primary School
Eva            McMasters         Assistant Principal      Rowville Secondary College
Marcelle       Milton            Assistant                Rowville Preschool
Wendy          Morris-Smith      Director                 The Fields Preschool
John           Morton                                     Lifestyle Video Productions
Anne           Morton                                     Lifestyle Video Productions
David          Morton                                     Lifestyle Video Productions
Melanie        Notman            Director                 Park Ridge Preschool
Maureen        O'Kelly           Pastoral Associate       St Simon's The Apostle Church
Lesley         Raymond           Assistant                Park Ridge Preschool
Pam            Scott             Assistant                Eildon Parade Preschool
Saroj          Singh             Director                 Eildon Parade Preschool
Marlene        Slocom            Director                 Kellbourne Heights Kinder & Child Care


                                             19
                                                   Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003


Alan           Terrens          Principal                  Park Ridge Primary School
Ruth           Terry            Coordinator                Taylor's Lane Preschool
Jenny          Toogood          Assistant                  Rowville Preschool
Barry          Treadwell        Welfare                    Lions Club of Rowville
Judeline       Wadhwani         Editor                     Rowville/Lysterfield Community News
Jo             Walls            Assistant Principal        Karoo Primary School
Sue            Walters          Branch Manager             Rowville Branch Library
Jeanette       Watt             Assistant                  Eildon Parade Preschool


United States Contacts
The following people in the United States have generously shared their time, experience and
expertise in relation to Appreciative Inquiry or other aspects of the Knox Early Years Project:
•    Bliss Browne – President, Imagine Chicago.
•    Carole Cooper – Assistant Superintendant, Elgin School District, Chicago.
•    Dr David Cooperrider – Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western
     University, Cleveland, Ohio.
•    Dr Steve Fitzgerald – Collaborative Capacity Consulting and Owner/Partner in
     Appreciative Inquiry Consulting group, Los Angeles.
•    Colette Herrick – Insight Shift (Coaching, Consulting & Training), Salt Lake City, Utah
•    Patricia Johnson – AI practitioner and consultant, San Jose, California.
•    Terri McNichol – Ren Associates. Consulting in community relations, cross-cultural
     relations and creative collaborations, New Jersey.
•    Charles Miller & Nancy Stetson – Center for Appreciative Inquiry, San Francisco.
•    Mac and Marcia O’Dell – Consultants, Southampton, New Hampshire.
•    Mr Daniel A Rabuzzi – CEO, Leader To Leader Institute, New York.
•    Dr Glenn Richardon – Professor Professor and Graduate Director, Health Sciences
     Center, University of Utah. (Integrative health, child and adolescent health, resilency.)
•    Dr Marjorie Schiller - Co Chair, Learning Cluster Appreciative Inquiry Consulting and
     Director, Positive Change Corps, Hingam, Massachusetts.
•    Dr Tony Silbert – Appreciative Inquiry Consultancy, Washington DC.
•    Helene Sugarman - Principal, Dynamic Communication, Washington DC.




                                              20
                                                     Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003



Appendix
Knox Early Years Project: Interview Summary Sheet [1]

Section 1: General Information
Date of interview (dd/mm/yy):                             2/12/03
Interviewer name:                                         Nadia Agnew
Interviewer email address or contact phone number:        nadia99@optusnet.com.au
Name of person you interviewed (interviewee):             Ikram Innusa Hasan
Interviewee’s email or phone number for possible          On paperwork coming in the mail
follow up:
(If permission obtained. See Section 2 below)



Section 2: Statement of Consent:
I have heard an explanation of the Knox Early Years Project and this interview process from
my interviewer. I have received answers to the questions I have asked. I consent to my
interview being part of the information gathered for the Early Years Project in Rowville.
Permissions (Circle an answer for each question)
1. I give my permission for my name to be listed as an
                                                                    Yes
interviewee without any information being attributed to me.
2. I give my permission to be contacted for review and
approval to attribute a particularly good story or quote to me,     Yes
should the project facilitator wish to do so
3. I give a permission to audiotape my interview (optional).                    No


Signature of Participant: sending these in the mail                       Date: __________


Signature of Person Obtaining Consent: sending these in the               Date: __________
mail


Please send this document to:
   Sue James (Facilitator)
   Knox Early Years Project                         Alternatively the form may be handed in to
   Fax: 9800 3096                                   the Knox City Council Customer Service
   C/o Knox Civic Centre                            Centre (at Stud Park Shopping Centre) or to
   511 Burwood Highway                              the Rowville Community Centre in Fulham
   Wantirna South, VIC, 3152                        Road.




                                               21
                                                     Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003



Section 3: Information about the Interviewee
(Please Circle)
Gender:                                                      Female - yes
Age group:                              Under 25
                                        26-35
                                        36-45
                                        46-55
                                        56-65
                                        66-75
                                        76 and older
(Please describe)
Country of Origin:                      Pakistan
Main language spoken at home:

Section 4: Interview Summary
What was the most compelling story that came out of this interview? What details and
examples did the interviewee share?
(Please note some details are not Ikram’s exact words as I had to translate her version of
English)
   -   In 1996 I came over from Pakistan after an arranged marriage (Muslim). 1 part of the
       marriage ceremony was a year before that, with the documents. We had never met
       before that. My husband’s family members had asked my family if I was engaged.
   -   I have 3 brothers and 1 sister, so it was very hard (moving away) as I am the
       youngest.
“My mother in law was refused her visa to stay here, so I have no family here. I would never
ask my own mother to come as she is very busy with her other grandchildren. It was very hard
with Faizan (my first child, now in kinder) as he was hospitalised 3 times when he was very
young. But I always had very good experiences in hospitals – the doctors and nurses were all
very friendly.”
   -   My husband has been here 13 years and has a few friends. All his friends have been
       really helpful, especially when I needed extra help. They were single at the time, so
       that helped, but now they all have their own families.
   -   I am quite flexible and I will settle into any situation. My father told me that I need to
       be able to do this. We built a house in Rowville and we are very close to some friends.
   -   I was never in a mothers’ group as the nurses never placed me into one, so I didn’t
       meet anyone that way.




                                                22
                                                    Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003




How were the interviewee and/or others changed by the story?


Interviewer: This opened up my eyes as to some of the challenges faced by a person in
Ikram’s position. It also occurred to me that there are many people facing similar challenges.
I’m glad the hospital environment was a good experience for them.


What was the most quotable quote that came out of this interview?
(2 as I couldn’t decide!)
“We are ready to accept all these changes, but we are not prepared to give up our Muslim
practises.”
“It’s good here because we can find Halal food everywhere. I have a friend who came 30
years ago and she said it was so hard back then because there was not much Halal food
around. There is even a Halal Hotline now and they can tell you where you can get different
foods. They were able to tell me about many things (Halal) we can get in the supermarket and
I didn’t know about that.”


What was the most interesting, engaging or life giving moment of the interview for you
as a listener?
Interviewer: These details about the Muslim/ Pakistani culture were very interesting, I learnt a
lot of new things about their religion and one family’s approach to integration into Australian
society:
“It’s very different, the culture here, compared to Pakistan as we often let the children stay up
late – even up to 10pm or 12pm. If we have a party, then the children come too. It might start
around 8pm and go to midnight and the children stay up that late. Here, the children go to bed
early”
“We want to teach Faizan to be a good Muslim, but we also want him to mix into the culture
here (will not be sending him to a Muslim school). We are not strict Muslims.”
We have just had Ramadan - when we fast. The young ones don’t do it – they start around 12-
13yrs old. It is like “the cleansing of the soul”. We have so much, so we stop eating it to
please God, and there are extra prayers.
“It’s good here because we can find Halal food everywhere. I have a friend who came 30
years ago and she said it was so hard back then because there was not much Halal food
around. There is even a Halal Hotline now and they can tell you where you can get different
foods. They were able to tell me about many things (Halal) we can get in the (local)
supermarket and I didn’t know about that.”
(It was explained that “Halal” meant a different way of killing the animal – cutting the throat,
rather than shooting. I gathered this has deep religious meaning in the Muslim faith. Muslims
also do not eat pork.)




                                               23
                                                    Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003


Did a particularly intriguing “golden” innovation, service or opportunity emerge during
the interview? If so, describe what you learned about it, including who is doing it and
where.
There is the UMMA in Doncaster – the United Muslim Migrant Association. It is a mosque,
library, and they have children’s games (activities?) and they publish special religious dates.
It is quite big and mainly Indian and Pakistani people go there.
When Ikram was asked whether she uses any non-Muslim community services in the area
(other than the Preschool), her reply was “No” as she was happy with her current network.
Comment by interviewer: I wonder if the UMMA are interested in being involved in some
other family/ community events where Muslim and non-Muslim families can interact? Maybe
this already happens. Could they perhaps be on mail lists from the Rowville Community
Centre, for example, to be notified about up and coming community events? What links to
organisations like this, do the Rowville Community Centre have?
Could Maternal Health Nurses offices have brochures/ posters etc about different religious
community organisations?


What were the 1-3 themes that stood out the most for you about the interview?
Theme A:
Please describe or give an example:
Rowville and surrounding areas are improving in their ability to accommodate families within
the Muslim faith. E.g. Halal food in local supermarkets
Theme B:
Please describe or give an example:
Within the Muslim faith and the Pakistani culture, there are many differences within the day
to day family environment, compared to the average “Anglo-Australian” family environment.
The community should continue to recognise and celebrate these differences e.g. invite
Pakistani parents/ grandparents into the Preschool to be on duty, share a story, or show an
item of cultural significance.
Theme C:
Please describe or give an example:
Many challenges face Pakistani Muslim migrant families in their ability and wishes to
integrate into their local and into Australian society. Community support groups facilitate this
process in a great variety of ways.




                                               24
                                                     Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003



Knox Early Years Project: Interview Summary Sheet [2]

Section 1: General Information
Date of interview (dd/mm/yy):                             18/11/03
Interviewer name:                                         Nadia Agnew
Interviewer email address or contact phone number:        nadia99@optusnet.com.au
Name of person you interviewed (interviewee):             Felicia Ahumada
Interviewee’s email or phone number for possible          On paperwork coming in the mail
follow up:
(If permission obtained. See Section 2 below)

Section 2: Statement of Consent:
I have heard an explanation of the Knox Early Years Project and this interview process from
my interviewer. I have received answers to the questions I have asked. I consent to my
interview being part of the information gathered for the Early Years Project in Rowville.
Permissions (Circle an answer for each question)
1. I give my permission for my name to be listed as an
                                                                   Yes
interviewee without any information being attributed to me.
2. I give my permission to be contacted for review and
approval to attribute a particularly good story or quote to me,    Yes
should the project facilitator wish to do so
3. I give a permission to audiotape my interview (optional).                    No


Signature of Participant: sending these in the mail                       Date: __________


Signature of Person Obtaining Consent: sending these in the               Date: __________
mail


Please send this document to:
   Sue James (Facilitator)
   Knox Early Years Project                         Alternatively the form may be handed in to
   Fax: 9800 3096                                   the Knox City Council Customer Service
   C/o Knox Civic Centre                            Centre (at Stud Park Shopping Centre) or to
   511 Burwood Highway                              the Rowville Community Centre in Fulham
   Wantirna South, VIC, 3152                        Road.




                                               25
                                                     Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003



Section 3: Information about the Interviewee
(Please Circle)
Gender:                                                      Female - yes
Age group:                              Under 25
                                        26-35
                                        36-45 yes
                                        46-55
                                        56-65
                                        66-75
                                        76 and older
(Please describe)
Country of Origin:                      Australia
Main language spoken at home:           English (+ some Spanish)

Section 4: Interview Summary
What was the most compelling story that came out of this interview? What details and
examples did the interviewee share?
“The Community Centre hosts a variety of children entertainment throughout the year which
gives our kids the opportunity of seeing their favourite characters come LIVE, and at such a
close range! The atmosphere is magic! The library offers a wonderful selection of books and
videos for the young children. Story time sessions are held twice a week at the library where
they also can do different activities at the end of the session eg; puzzles or drawing... Our
local paper is a good source of information in relation to coming events and children activities
occurring within Rowville.”
(Community centre next to Stud Park shopping centre)
How were the interviewee and/or others changed by the story?
Interviewer: As I don’t live in the area, I really didn’t know much about the community
centre. They seem to have a lot going on and they use the local paper to advertise – a great
medium for communication. Now I can recommend this service to others.
What was the most quotable quote that came out of this interview?
(2 as I couldn’t decide which was best!)
“Rowville has an abundance of young children which gives it a wonderful feel about it.
Especially on a nice day when all the children come out to play...”
“The Community Centre hosts a variety of children’s entertainment throughout the year
which gives our kids the opportunity of seeing their favourite characters come LIVE, and at
such a close range! The atmosphere is magic!”




                                                26
                                                    Knox Early Years Project Report - December 2003


What was the most interesting, engaging or life giving moment of the interview for you
as a listener?
1. “When my first child was born, I experienced the opportunity of meeting in a Mother's
Group organized by the Maternal Health Nurse. I found this to be a wonderful learning
opportunity for parent and child; and a good support program. Our Maternal Health Nurses
provide much needed information and guidance.”
Interviewer: I have a reassuring feeling that this service in the community exists, and one that
I hope exists for me in my local community when I have children, especially as I have no
family in Victoria.
2. “My children love going to the Park. Here in Rowville we have several parks; some in
walking distance to each other, others a short drive by car; which gives our children variety...
The children love meeting and playing with the other children they meet there. Rowville also
has the lake which can be a little dangerous, but with a close eye on them, can be a very
enjoyable experience for them. Our Shopping Centre has regular visits from Thomas at Stud
park; a real treat for many of the kids, as is going to the pet shop there at Stud Park.
Chesterfield Farm (especially in springtime) is only a short drive from Rowville and a
wonderful place for the children to visit. Rowville has an abundance of young children which
gives it a wonderful feel about it. Especially on a nice day when all the children come out to
play...”
Did a particularly intriguing “golden” innovation, service or opportunity emerge during
the interview? If so, describe what you learned about it, including who is doing it and
where.
Rowville Community Centre - details as in first question.
What were the 1-3 themes that stood out the most for you about the interview?
Theme A:
Please describe or give an example:
The Rowville Community Centre is a fantastic resource for families with children.
Theme B:
Please describe or give an example:
The Mother’s Groups organised by the Maternal Health Nurses are a valuable source of
support and education for both adults and children.
Theme C:
Please describe or give an example:
Rowville has a great range of wonderful services for families with young children that really
promote a sense of community.




                                               27

				
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