5A The first 1000 days


Helen Rimington,
drummond street services

Sharon Hughes,
drummond street services

Friday 23 November 23 2018

Time: 8:25am – 8:55am

Room: Kuranda Ballroom

5A The first 1000 days

Girls n Boys Come Out to Play – Gender equality… is it ever too early?



This 30 minute presentation gives participants a hands on taste of a new innovation in Playgroup sessions. Research from VicHealth and the World Health Organisation shows that violence can be prevented: it’s a matter of changing the unequal power relations and cultural norms that cause men to perpetrate violence against women in the first place, and the social structures that excuse it. We know that factors associated with higher levels of violence against women include the everyday ideas, values or beliefs (often based on gender stereotypes) that are common in our Australian society. These norms are reflected in our institutional and community practices and behaviours, and start impacting children in their first 1000 days….. yes we as parents treat and see them differently from the time they are identified as a boy or girl. A partnership between Drummond Street Services, Playgroups Victoria and Hullaballoo Music has spawned an innovative gender equality project that targets parents and their children under 5.

The presentation will explore why targeting new parents in prevention is vital and debate “how early is too early” to be promoting gender equality messages. We will share our differing experiences of delivering the session to over 1000 people in regional, CBD, Aboriginal and CALD early childhood settings. Our Hullaballoo Music performer will engage participants in some songs and dances from the Playgroup session, feature live music, audience participation and resources (including our evaluation results) to take away on the importance of raising children as equals.


Sharon is an experienced and innovative Aboriginal Community Development Worker who has assisted Drummond Street to develop Aboriginal elements in the gender equality project for Playgroups. Sharon has been vital in developing relationships that allowed the project to be rolled out in areas such as Horsham., Lake Tyers, Bairnesdale, with more regional work planned. Sharon is a children’s author, a story teller, a Bush Kinder enthusiast and runs empowering groups of all kinds.

Over 20 years in family education and support, she was a senior trainer for beyondblue, consultant on VicHealth’s Prevention of violence against women short courses and Helen trains other facilitators at drummond street services and has a specialisation in primary prevention programs. Helen’s presentation style- humorous, evidence based and interactive.