Video Case Studies
Chaffey Early Learning Centre
See how building an Early Learning Centre has improved a regional Victorian town.
This project was funded under Round 1 of the Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program. The Generations Early Learning Centre was built and offers up to 72 places for children.
The centre is co-located on site at the Chaffey Aged Care facility in Merbein, North-West Victoria. Building it has enabled positive interactions between the residents and children.
Darren: My name is Darren Midgley. I'm the Chief Executive Officer of Rural Care Australia. We operate Chaffey Aged Care. We also operate Generations Early Learning, our new 72 place, co-located, intergenerational early learning service.
We first found out about the Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program through an internet search looking for grants to assist us with the construction of Generations Early Learning.
The grant has been amazing, it has given us the opportunity to construct this amazing asset for our community.
Melissa: Generations Early Learning has contributed so many things to our community.
There's a lot of families that live and work locally that weren't able to access childcare, or they would have to drive, you know, 20 to 30 minutes to get some.
Tracey: When I found out that this place was going to be built next to Chaffey, I was just absolutely thrilled. I think it was just going to be one of the best things that Merbein could have had, being such a small town.
I've noticed that within myself, my family, Cecilia and Grandpa we've just come so much closer as a family, and I think it's just absolutely fantastic for the community.
Darren: What happens when the two generations come together is magic, magic happens when intergenerational programs bring generations together.
What we see is people come out of their shells. We see issues such as isolation broken down. We see improvements to social skills, to levels of depression in aged people. In children, we see a readiness and a preparedness to learn. We see exploration and we see engagement.
Bob: Kids are so responsive and they want to talk to you and, you know, play little games. When you spend most of your time just sitting in a room, it's just something gives you a lift during the day.
To Bob, this is a picture of us. You're wearing that brown hat you use to wave at us. And this one here, to Bob, thank you for waving. Here's us holding hands.
Melissa: So my favourite relationship or my favourite day is definitely the day that Bob climbed up the hill. We had been outside for a while, and the kids were running up and down on the hill being really silly, and we had been doing some painting, and Bob was watching from the side, and I could see his interest in the boys. And then I heard him make a few jokes to one of the carers from Chaffey about he could climb up that hill.
And I didn't say anything and just waited, and then before we knew it Bob had walked his scooter over to the hill and he'd left it and he was climbing up the side of the hill and all the kids were cheering him on. It was just the joy on everyone's face, it was so rewarding.
Norma: Look who's here. Well, she made this beautiful little bracelet for me and I wear it every day and I think of her as I wear it, but I just know that she's there and I think she probably thinks of me too.
Darren: Merbein now has the infrastructure and the facilities to support a sustained period of growth, and I think our economy and our community will benefit significantly from the addition of Generations Early Learning.
Maximising capacity for cockle (kuti) harvesting
See how a new barge has strengthened a First Nations business in Goolwa, South Australia.
Funded under Round 3 of the Murray–Darling Basin Economic Development Program, the barge delivers significant benefits to business, community, and Ngarrindjeri culture.
The project has increased accessibility to kuti (cockle) harvesting areas. It is now easier and safer to move vehicles and equipment between locations.
The project has also increased training and employment opportunities for First Nations people.
Derek: We are the only First Nations business that undertake Kuti harvesting and it's probably been the first team of Ngarrindjeri for 200 years.
So it has been a sustainable protein source since forever for our people.
The opportunity around supporting us to buy the barge was something that we jumped at.
Alistair: The new and larger capacity barge has been critical in being able to expand harvest capacity.
We had restrictions on just purely the amount of time we had to complete a day or night of fishing, this larger boat, whilst it's made great improvements around safety and manual handling and fatigue, it's also allowed us to be far more efficient.
There's enough capacity in that vessel for us to always be able to catch what we would need on any given day.
Derek: The quicker you get in the quicker you get out, particularly in the winter and at night, the better, the better for our guys, less fatigue, those sorts of things.
The barge probably cuts off an hour in time, you know getting across, coming back, taking a full load, but it also allows us not to be double handling the the payload.
So incredible difference in inefficiency for us.
Steven: Instead of transferring bags from the utes to the boat and then back to the ute on the other side, we just drive straight on and straight off, there's less time consumption with it all, so less stress on the body I suppose.
Derek: The morale of our guys just climbed once we bought the barge, there are two other barges and two other teams that dig and there's a bit of jealousy about the barge that we bought because it's actually got a cabin and so when it's raining we can actually get out of the rain.
It's new and shiny and certainly makes a difference to harvest.
Our marketing and development areas are growing we're starting to sell into supermarkets, high end restaurants. There are some young Ngarrindjeri that work in the Kuti Shack, we're wanting to grow that, we want to be able to cook a product that is purely made with native product, and that will support us in future branding and opportunities into the future.
Brendan: Now we've got more supply, we've got a lot more pipis when we need them to keep up with the demand, which is huge down here.
A lot of people come here just for pipis and if we don't have enough for a week, it's devastating when they come down, so really good.
Derek: Most importantly it provides opportunity for employment, so we have a number of people that are involved in the digging, we have a number of people involved in the management of Kuti and so if we have our mob employed, it improves their lives, they support families and it makes for a better community.
Clinton: I think it's very important that our people just getting back out onto our land and stuff, getting back connecting with our culture and everything.
Not many young Aboriginal people can get to do that, so just for this opportunity to be out here and learning what we had thousands and thousands of years ago is really good.
Alistair: Since getting this new barge into service we've noticed a number of benefits. Crew morale has been much better, it's been future proofed really in its construction for an expanding fishery.
We are able to add crew members without having to worry about compliance around numbers of people on the vessel.
We know that when we finish a day's fishing, the journey home is not as arduous, you know we are in a safe vessel.
All round it has been a huge win and everyone's smiling because it makes a difficult job down here that little bit less difficult, and in fact quite a nice way to finish the day in a bit of comfort and real safety.
Derek: Like any business it's got to make sense from a dollars perspective, it also has to hit some other targets for us, you know, culturally, economically, ecologically and we've found that the barge has helped us in all those areas.