Being family centred and child focussed is a core principle of C4C Bendigo.

The Voice of the Family (VoF) project is the key mechanism through which C4C Bendigo listens to and includes family voice. C4C Bendigo have partnered with Noah’s Ark Bendigo to undertake this work.

Noah's Ark

Project Aims

“Families have agency” is one of the key priorities in the C4C Bendigo 2022-2026 Community Strategic Plan, and it drives this project. This project aims to:

  • Centre family voice in the decision making, design and evaluation of services, and include children’s voice in strategic decision making and service planning.
  • See parents and carers as experts on their children and having the knowledge, skills, confidence, and resources to meet their family’s needs.
  • Recognise and value the experience of families, and to influence the early years sector to better respond to the aspirations and needs of families.
  • Focus on inclusive practice.

Project Activities

Current activities of VoF project include:

  • Pilot innovative structures and processes for family participation in decision making, design and evaluation in C4C governance and projects.
  • Research and document best practice in family participation in decision making, design and evaluation.
  • Build sector capacity through sharing lessons learned, insights and resources with the early years sector.

Project Highlights

In seeking out and listening to the voices of families in Bendigo, the VoF project has produced the following reports and resources.

Voice of the Child Project (2022)

In this project we partnered with Polyglot Theatre Voice Lab to listen to the voice of young children in Bendigo.

The report refers to a video which summarises six children’s responses. Watch this video and discover what Bendigo kids would do if they had a magic wand.

Connecting with Culture on Dja Dja Wurrung Country Toolkit (2020)

The toolkit aims to guide and support services to be welcoming and respectful to Aboriginal Families and engage meaningfully with Aboriginal Culture, focussing on local connection and perspectives. Click here to access the toolkit.

Connecting with Culture on Dja Dja Wurrung Country video is included in the toolkit and can be viewed here. It was developed through our work in listening to the voice of Aboriginal Families and sharing their experiences to influence system and practice change.

You are welcome to share this video. Where possible please add the following words to any website, electronic or social media posts when you share the video:

“Noah’s Ark and Communities for Children Bendigo have created ‘Connecting with Culture on Dja Dja Wurrung Country’ – a short video which aims to guide services on ways to provide welcoming and respectful spaces to Aboriginal Families and engage meaningfully with Aboriginal Culture, focussing on local connection and perspectives. The information contained in this video relates to Dja Dja Wurrung Country. Please learn more by visiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this video may contain images and voices of deceased persons.”

Hearing the Voice of the Family – Throw Away the Book (2017)

It has been highlighted that many families experiencing vulnerability and disconnection are not linked in a meaningful way, or not linked at all, to the range of services and programs that support families, children’s development, and pre-school education. We know that the cost of failing to provide timely support to these young families is considerable and often devastating.

There is growing consensus that rather than thinking about certain families as being hard to reach, we need to think of them as being people whom services find difficult to engage and retain.

C4C Bendigo captured the stories of these families so we can hear their voice and understand what will make a difference for them.

For more information:

Amanda Lonergan
C4C Voice of the Family Project Worker
p: 0438 486 953

Michele Totterdell
Noah’s Ark Manager
p: 1800 819 140