Lithgow Koorie playgroup looking for new members

PLAYGROUP COORDINATOR: Elly Chatfield says the Gugaar Koorie Playgroup provides a space for families to bond. Picture: PHOEBE MOLONEY.

PLAYGROUP COORDINATOR: Elly Chatfield says the Gugaar Koorie Playgroup provides a space for families to bond. Picture: PHOEBE MOLONEY.

A weekly playgroup for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families is looking for new members. 

The Gugaar Lithgow Koorie Playgroup will be returning to Fatima Hall each Thursday in the new school semester.

The playgroup, run by the Blue Mountains Aboriginal Cultural and Resource Centre, began last term when funding came through after a two-year wait. The group’s start date for semester 2 is July 20. 

Coordinator Elly Chatfield said the group provides a space for quality family time. 

“Just seeing the bonding between the children is so beautiful, they are so cute,” she said. 

“Gugaar means goanna in Wiradjuri and the Aunties signed off on that name.”

Ms Chatfield said all children of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families are welcome, including non-indigenous family members. In the first term of the program around six families were involved.

“It has been a bit slow to start up but we would love to grow on that.

“It’s all Lithgow people, so they do know each other but it just gives them the space to be families together,” she said.

The playgroup is for children under school age (including toddlers and babies) and runs from 10am-12pm on Thursdays at Fatima Hall.

Children and parents can play together at interactive workstations and morning tea and lunch are provided.

Ms Chatfield said the playgroup is introducing some new activities in the coming semester.

“Some of the Aunties and Uncles have decided to come in and read to the children to give them that connection and mentorship,” Ms Chatfield said. 

The playgroup is also working on a pre-kindergarten program with Cooerwull Public School. 

“For the older children to help them transition to primary school we are hoping to take them over to the school every two months to get used to that new environment.”

  • For more information about the playgroup you can contact Ms Chatfield on 0429 482 829. Fatima Hall is located on the corner of Tweed Road and the Great Western Highway. 
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