We’d like to thank everyone who attended the event this year, stay tuned for information on the next Playgroup Meetup!

Please find below a list of our Finalists and Winners:

Community Playgroup of the Year (1-4 sessions) Metro Active Dads Playgroup
Fam Love Jam Band
Rainbow Families Playgroup
Arts Tarts and our Little Hearts

The winner is: Fam Love Jam Band

This playgroup has exceptional processes to prepare for welcoming new families to ensure that the first impression is warm and friendly. They also check in with members who they have not seen for a while to be sure that things are OK, which often encourages a family to return the next week and keep up their social contacts. A culture of sharing and support is evident, and that they make the most of their community places and spaces.

Community Playgroup of the Year (1 – 4 sessions) Regional/Rural

Dimboola Playgroup
Bright Wild Things Bush Playgroup
Boisdale Community Playgroup
Possums of Yinnar Playgroup

The winner is: Dimboola Playgroup

Strategic thinking and action really made this playgroup stand out in the field. There was evidence of sincere and solid processes to connect with people, welcome them, and stay connected. The group has reached deeper in to their community by making links with other services for children and seniors, and by participating in popular community events in their town. This group is aware of its potential to support the wellbeing of the families who currently attend, and those who are yet to become involved. They see themselves as vital community asset and are working on making sure the rest of the town know this too.

Community Playgroup of the Year (5+ sessions)

St Andrew’s Playgroup Bacchus Marsh
Woodend Playgroup
New Gisbourne Playgroup
Concord Playgroup

The winner is: St Andrew’s Playgroup Bacchus Marsh

‘Easy access’ would be a good way to summarise this playgroup. Working with maternity services, this playgroup meets families before the birth of a child to make it easier for families to make contact later, after the child is born and the family is seeking contact with other families. The group has a fee structure that supports families experiencing financial hardship and their culture of ‘participation for everyone’ was shown in how the provided for the needs of a hearing-impaired parent at a movie night

Community Playgroup Leader of the Year

Active Dads Playgroup – Lara Wallis
Boisdale Community Playgroup – Elizabeth Kovco
Kiewa Wild Things- Jarrod Paine
Bright Wild Things Bush Playgroup- Merryn Steer

The winner is: Lara Wallis

This leader works intentionally to build the capacity of the members of the group so that the group is sustainable and available for other families. The group she leads provides support for a group of parents who may be more vulnerable to experiencing stigma or hardship. In this way, this group functions as perhaps the perfect link between a supported and a community playgroup. This leader uses her skills to encourage the other parents to be actively involved and supportive, and to be confident in their own parenting skills. The space that they have all created delivers a safe and encouraging place for dads to play with their children, and support one another in fatherhood.

Supported Playgroup of the Year

Zoe Support Australia
Little Frogs Playgroup
Yarrabah Supported Playgroup
Come and Play Multicultural Supported Playgroup

The winner is: Zoe Support Australia

This playgroup’s story described growth and change in the program, and also in the lives of the people who have participated. This playgroup has supported young people to develop from service users into service leaders through a deliberate peer-support strategy. Many past participants have felt supported and encouraged to re-engage with studies or employment. Their credibility in the community is shown by the significant growth over a five year period, and the strength of relations with Aboriginal and non-aboriginal families. As well as the usual parenting information sessions that are delivered, there are other that are relevant to the lives of the parents they provide for,. For instance, a session on ‘sexting and cyber bullying’ was delivered by a legal service in their community.

Supported Playgroup Facilitator / Coordinator of the Year

Thomastown Library Supported Playgroup – Belinda Lyons
Zoe Support Australia – Libbie McBain
Balla Balla Playgroup- Tracy Symons
Shire of Campaspe Supported Playgroups- Tracy Woods
The winner is: Belinda Lyons

Playgroup Agency of the Year

City of Greater Dandenong
Knox City Council
Craig Family Centre
Kingston City Council

The winner is: City of Greater Dandenong

The Minister’s Award

The winner is: Woodend Playgroup

Playgroup of the Year – embracing diversity

The winner of Playgroup of the Year is: Rainbow Families

Supporting families who are at serious risk of stress due to the current political climate and activities.


About the Awards Night

We gather alongside the many and varied types of sea creatures at SEA LIFE to celebrate the diversity of us all. Our awards acknowledge all of the fantastic work carried out by playgroups across the state. From burgeoning inner-city Dad’s groups, to small family groups in rural towns, we seek to thank you for being part of the fabric of the community.

We want to applaud those who have made a big effort when nobody else has. We want to thank the hard workers who ask for nothing in return. We want to celebrate the volunteers, the participants, the organisers and all of the people who have given generously to make playgroup possible.

Our awards night will be adventurous, have no doubt. There will be fun and intrigue. You might even spot a mermaid as we seek to travel the seven seas and find the playgroup treasures.  Join us and let’s celebrate together.

WHEN: November 17th 2017, 7:30PM

WHERE: SEALIFE Melbourne Aquarium