[supplied by Moriarty Foundation]
Moriarty Foundation’s innovative Indi Kindi early years program in the NT recognised by $1.1M investment
Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon Ken Wyatt MP, has today announced $1.1M Federal Government funding for Moriarty Foundation to continue its innovative “walking learning” Indi Kindi early years program for under 5s in Borroloola and Robinson River, Northern Territory. Funding includes establishing an Indi Kindi partnership with HealthLAB, an initiative of Menzies School of Health Research Darwin.
Indi Kindi’s team of local educators and mentors has been central to the health, wellbeing and education of very young Aboriginal children in the Gulf of Carpentaria since 2012, reaching 78 per cent of all children living in Borroloola and Robinson River.
The funding announced comes after seven successful years of Moriarty Foundation operations in the area. It will enable Moriarty Foundation to continue to build on the sustainable change it has achieved. Indi Kindi runs 5-6 day a week in the two communities, employing five local educators and staff mentors and providing 1500 hot nutritious meals to children and their families each year,
The funding will enable Indi Kindi and HealthLAB to run an innovative, interactive, educational mobile 'pop-up' experience for children under 5 and their parents and families. HealthLAB enables children and parents to measure their own biomedical risk factors for chronic diseases, and make positive lifestyle choices that improve their health and wellbeing.
"We know there is a direct and measurable correlation between early intervention and improved health and learning outcomes, to break the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage. I am proud to be part of a government that is able to support First Australian children to build the skills they need before starting school," said Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon Ken Wyatt MP.
Deandra McDinny, a local Garrawa woman and Indi Kindi Educator who recently celebrated 3 years of employment with the Foundation, knows the program’s value first hand.
“When we drive around the community, the kids get excited, they come running and say Indi Kindi is coming! Every morning I see their smiling faces and it makes me happy. I love coming to work every day, working with my colleagues to make a better community, a better environment for the kids to learn. I want the kids to get a good future.”
Ros Moriarty, Managing Director of Moriarty Foundation and Founder of Indi Kindi, expressed the organisation’s gratitude for the support."We are extremely appreciative of this commitment by Minister Wyatt to our focus on the first 1000 days of a child's life, when lifelong foundations of optimum health, growth and neurodevelopment are established."
Associate Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan, Head of Child Health Laboratory Research at Menzies welcomed the funding.
"Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) is excited to be partnering with Moriarty Foundation and welcomes news of funding for the Indi Kindi program. Menzies HealthLAB will now extend to the families of very young children in remote Northern Territory communities providing health education and preventative health strategies.”
Image: Wayne Quilliam
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