Bribie Island Community Kindgarten

16 March 2022

Ms KING (Pumicestone—ALP) (7.18 pm): In the midst of our flood clean-up and recovery, today I have a good news story to share from the Pumicestone community about our prized Bribie Island Community Kindergarten. The heartbeat of Bribie kindy is Narelle Dawson, who has been with the kindy as educator and leader for 28 years. Bribie kindy is one of only 34 kindergartens in Australia and only nine in Queensland that are rated as ‘excellent'. 'Excellent' is the highest possible rating under the national quality framework by the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority.

Narelle and her team of educators and volunteers have maintained Bribie kindy's excellent rating since 2014. Anyone who has any familiarity whatsoever with the framework knows what an incredibly impressive achievement and a huge commitment maintaining that rating has been for them. Narelle describes herself modestly as ‘like part of the furniture at kindy'. She says there is no place like it and she would not want to be anywhere else. I can absolutely see why.

It is truly a delight to visit the kindy. You walk through the gate into a joyous, fantastic space that is nestled under spreading native trees located in Bongaree. The kindy is not shiny or fancy. The play spaces and equipment are creatively recycled and reused like the upcycled sailboat that has been reinvented for young adventurers. The kindy team support families in challenging social and economic circumstances, and every single day they enrich the lives, the education and the early start for our youngest Pumicestonians.

First Nations people are central to the success of Bribie kindy. I acknowledge community elder Uncle Ron, who generously shows up at kindy every single day to share the stories and cultural knowledge of our Gubbi Gubbi and Joondubarri peoples with the kids. I really welcome the news that Bribie Island Community Kindergarten will receive enhanced support as part of the Kindy Uplift program along with 12 other kindies in our community. I thank and acknowledge Minister Grace for that support.

What shines brightest about Bribie Island Community Kindergarten is how they teach the value of community. Narelle says, ‘Teaching community matters because our kids in turn grow up to be people who support and build community.' Even while dealing with the aftermath of the floods, which did impact the kindy, Narelle and the kindy teamed up with local teacher Nick Eddy to spearhead the Bribie Island flood relief network that devoted supplies and had them shipped down to the New South Wales Northern Rivers. They made the kindy a drop-off and temporary storage location for donations, pooled together resources and organised the transport of donated items.

Bribie kindy absolutely epitomises our strong community spirit on Bribie. It delights me more than I can say that the young people of Pumicestone have one of the best kindies of Australia in their community.