Buster birth­day bash

BUS MARKS 30 YEARS OF FUN

Cockburn Gazette - - NEAR YOU -

FROM Fre­man­tle Prison to a mo­bile par­ent­ing pro­gram, Buster the Fun Bus has come a long way, cel­e­brat­ing 30 years of ser­vice to the com­mu­nity.

Chil­dren, par­ents and pro­gram co-or­di­na­tors gath­ered at Dick Lawrence Oval in Bea­cons­field on May 11 to have a slice of cake and cel­e­brate the mile­stone birth­day of the mo­bile par­ent­ing pro­gram.

The cre­ator of Buster the Fun Bus came up with the name and out­fit­ted the orig­i­nal van, orig­i­nally painted by in­mates at Fre­man­tle Prison with char­ac­ters from chil­dren’s books.

City of Fre­man­tle com­mu­nity devel­op­ment di­rec­tor Marisa Spaziani said Buster the Fun Bus was an ex­ten­sion of the City’s pri­mary child­care ser­vice to pro­vide a mo­bile par­ent­ing pro­gram.

“It was so pop­u­lar, that 30 years later, Buster con­tin­ues to ser­vice Fre­man­tle and Melville fam­i­lies in this way,” she said.

The bus pro­vides a free par­ent­ing sup­port ser­vice for fam­i­lies with chil­dren aged 0-5 and above and trav­els to com­mu­nity parks and venues in the City of Fre­man­tle, al­low­ing par­ents to meet, re­lax and so­cialise in their lo­cal area.

Dur­ing a ses­sion, par­ents have ac­cess to re­sources to en­hance their par­ent­ing skills and in­ter­act with their chil­dren us­ing games, toys and craft ac­tiv­i­ties.

“I feel we are a happy, big fam­ily,” pro­gram team leader Saghar Eta­hadi said.

The unique mo­bile na­ture of the ser­vice al­lows the City to pro­vide con­ve­nient and free ac­cess to par­ent­ing ser­vices in neigh­bour­hood ar­eas that some fam­i­lies may not oth­er­wise have ac­cess to, Ms Spaziani said. “Par­ent­ing ser­vices are pro­vided by other councils but mo­bile ser­vices are not com­mon,” she said.

The Fun Bus will run un­til De­cem­ber 31 when the State Govern­ment will de­cide whether its ser­vices are still rel­e­vant.

A spokesper­son for the Min­is­ter for Com­mu­nity Ser­vices said it was a part of the nor­mal pro­cure­ment process, with a num­ber of ser­vices funded by the De­part­ment of Lo­cal Govern­ment and Com­mu­ni­ties com­ing up for re­view at the end of 2016.

“No de­ci­sions on fund­ing have been made be­yond De­cem­ber 31. How­ever ser­vice providers will be able to put for­ward pro­pos­als later this year as part of the process,” the spokesper­son said.

Ja­mal Ka­mara (2), Saghar Eta­hadi, Win­ter Ec­cle­ston (2), Tina Stevens, An­nika Modgil (2) and Ge­orge Stan­wix (3) cel­e­brate Buster’s 30th birth­day with De­part­ment of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment and Com­mu­ni­ties rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

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