Free health checks for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander children


Nullah Clapham enjoys activities as part of the 2014 Delkaia Ready For Learning day. Picture: BELINDA ELLIOTTFREE health checks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children will be available during a day of activities at Horsham Aquatic Centre on Thursday.

The Ready for Learning day focuses on children’s health ahead of the start of the school year.

Wimmera Uniting Care Delkaia Aboriginal best start program facilitator Tracey Rigney said the day was a chance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to undergo a range of health checks.

‘‘We also ensure lots of fun is had on the day, so each child is given a ‘passport’ they need to have stamped at each screening activity, which guarantees a free entry to the pool and water activities at the Horsham Aquatic Centre,’’ she said.

Aside from a range of health checks there will be games, water activities, art and craft activities, haircuts and information stalls from a range of Wimmera organisations.

Ms Rigney said the day would provide important information to parents and carers about education and health.

She said early intervention programs had been developed in response to overwhelming data about indigenous children, education and health.

‘‘We need to invest in our children in these crucial early years because by the time they are nine to 12 years of age, they have made up their minds about what they think of school, what they think of health and what they think of social activities such as sport,’’ she said.

‘‘In some of them – not all – a wall starts to rise and it’s hard to break through that to help guide them towards making better choices about education, health and well-being.’’

She said Ready for Learning would be at the Horsham Aquatic Centre from noon on Thursday.

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