Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Tackling childhood social issues

Greater Shepparton’s Lighthouse Project — which is aiming to tackle major social issues head-on, including early childhood development and educational underperformance — will partner with a major national initiative launched in Sydney yesterday.

May 1, 2014 2:56am

Opportunity Child, a collaboration between the ten20 Foundation and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, will take a grassroots approach to reducing early childhood vulnerability in 20 Australian metropolitan and country communities during the next 10 years.

‘‘Opportunity Child is a game changer to drive the accountability required for whole communities, including business and philanthropy, to work together for common goals focused on children achieving their potential,’’ ten20 Foundation chief executive Seri Renkin said.

One in six Australian children are at risk of neglect and abuse, and one in four are not ready to start school because of poor living and developmental environments.

Adam Furphy, chairman of the steering committee of the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project, said the organisations had the same goal of a whole of community approach to tacking disadvantage.

‘‘We will seek to utilise their experiences in other parts of the country to see what we can implement and it will work the other way as well,’’ he said.

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