In 12 months, up to 50 Aboriginal families positively impacted by outreach days

NCNS is one of many organisations in Penrith that focus on the importance of reaching all ages and groups within our local community. One way that we aim to achieve this is through our Aboriginal Developmental Outreach Days. These days are run quarterly to offer regular opportunities to Aboriginal families with babies and toddlers, so they have free and easy access to medical care.

Running these days at our well known Kooly centre, eliminates the sometimes-intimidating, clinical setting, aiming to offer safe space for parents and carers who may otherwise be reluctant to seek assistance. We welcome the community to come along without the fear of judgement and hope they leave feeling informed and encouraged to attend in the future.

On the day we all work together to creative a positive experience, from arrival to activities, assessment, and a smiley-wave goodbye. Our team and other professionals are passionate about making a positive impact on the Aboriginal community in our area.

The Penrith Aboriginal community makes up 4.9% of the Local Government Area (LGA), and more than a third (34.4%) of this demographic is aged 0-14 years old. You may think that 4.9% is a small number, but it equates to 10,578 people and 3,500 of that is youth and children’s < 14 years (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2021). When you break it down and look deeper, the numbers represent real people and families in your community.

Just in the past 12 months, we’ve seen up to 50 Aboriginal families positively impacted by the program, which means 50 families are now more prepared when sending their children to school. By addressing a child’s health and developmental status early on we hope to give parents the opportunity to have strong and healthy family units and enjoy life rather than worrying about health concerns. For most adults, physical health exams are an invasive thought, having someone poke and prod you to check your body for any concerns. Let’s step back for a moment and think about how daunting this can be for children to experience. We aim to take away this fear and make the process as smooth and comfortable as possible.

Having professionals in the one place, can reduce any distress children can feel from the screening experience, and rather than having appointments spread out over weeks or months across multiple medical centres we address concerns all at once. We’re also helping kids to process and see that healthcare is valuable and not so scary after all. Sometimes it’s a simple as a distraction, activity, or friendly face there to guide them through what could be an otherwise stressful experience.

For example, HAPEE Ears for Early Years program, examine hearing over a 30-minute appointment which is a long time for little kids. HAPEE Ears will spent time looking for any markers of concern and provide information to parents for further check-ups. They will look for common health issues among Aboriginals, like Chronic Otitis Media (HHSC 2019) which is associated with hearing loss that can make it hard for children growing up to listen, learn and talk to others.

We had Building Strong Foundations for Aboriginal Children, Families and Communities services come out and provide culturally safe child and family health services for Aboriginal children from birth to school age. We had 2 children come through for their regular child health checks and it was documented on their Blue Book.

Totally Smiles Mobile Dentistry is a mobile dental van who are focused on promoting healthy oral hygiene, leading to improved oral health within our community. It is a fully equipped van, with dental workers on board for check-up and cleans. We had 14 children get their teeth checked, and they were also provided with a free mini dental kit to kickstart their oral hygiene practices at home.

It is our hope by running programs like the Outreach Day, we can help address shared concerns within the Aboriginal community and look for a way to advocate the needs of the next generation of Darug people.

The next Early Childhood Developmental Outreach Day is Wednesday 31st May 2023 from 9am – 4pm. There will be fun activities for the family and the following services will be there on the day:

  • Bounce Mobile Dentistry 0-6yrs (Dental Checks)
  • Building Strong Foundations 0-5yrs (Health Checks)
  • HAPEE Ears For Early Years, Hearing Australia 0-5yrs (Hearing Checks)

Bookings are essential for all above services.

To book appointments please contact Amy on 0477 004 773 or Zoe on 0409 986 121 or Cranebrook Neighbourhood Centre on 02 4729 0442

Early Childhood Developmental Outreach Day Flyer



Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2021, August 10). Penrith – 2021 Census Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people QuickStats. Retrieved February 24, 2023, from Australian Bureau of Statistics:

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