hosts national research launch showing strong results of early education program

TWO landmark academic studies have found a pre-school program delivered in Murray Bridge and the Riverland by to prepare parents and their youngsters for their educational journey has delivered strong outcomes, particularly among Aboriginal people.

WELCOME TO COUNTRY: Harley conducts an official Welcome to Country as the HIPPY research launch is undertaken on Ngarrindjeri land.

National research reports on the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) was launched in Murray Bridge at the Murraylands Centre on February 11.

The studies showed the HIPPY in-home education program for children aged 4 to 5 and their families living in low income households delivered marked improvements in school readiness, parental engagement in early learning and job readiness for parents. chief executive officer Shane Maddocks said the early childhood home learning program provided parents with the tools, knowledge and confidence to take responsibility for their children’s learning at home.

Mr Maddocks welcomed the report findings, which he said backed what the organisation had long witnessed – children and their parents becoming more confident in engaging in education.

He said the intake of paid HIPPY tutors from the community into the not-for-profit organisation’s staff had also contributed to retention of a strong cohort of Aboriginal employees who had progressed into diverse roles within in the Murraylands and Riverland.

“HIPPY is an important program within our diverse services mix to provide opportunities for life for country people, while also being an entry point for many valued staff members,” he said.

“It empowers parents and care givers while making a difference in the lives of children, setting them up for better educational outcomes.”

LANDMARK STUDY: chief executive officer Shane Maddocks, Riverland HIPPY coordinator Katisha Jackson and Member for Barker Tony Pasin launch national research into the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) in Murray Bridge. Read Katisha’s story at

Brotherhood of St. Laurence research and policy centre director Shelley Mallett, who co-authored the HIPPY longitudinal study, said HIPPY was life-changing for those involved across Australia.

“These studies, the largest conducted on HIPPY, show what BSL, the Federal Government and all those involved have known for years – that HIPPY makes a real difference,” Professor Mallett said.

“HIPPY means better school readiness, with most kids who started out behind their peers finishing the program with literacy and numeracy skills above the Australian average.

“Parents come through HIPPY more confident and engaged in their child’s education, while our tutors receive critical job training, transforming their employment aspirations and job opportunities.”

BSL’s acting executive director Lucia Boxelaar said the program provided strong returns on the Federal Government’s investment.

“The program wouldn’t be possible without the strong, ongoing support of the Federal Government and we know these studies only add to the proof that HIPPY is a great return on the Commonwealth’s long-term investment in children’s education and life outcomes,” Dr Boxelaar said.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin spoke at the research launch and said HIPPY played an important role in the Murraylands community and was “delivered by locals for locals to tackle intergenerational disadvantage”.

“HIPPY is about early intervention with families to assist children and their parents or carers where their circumstances may impede a child’s readiness for school and, in Murray Bridge alone, the program has assisted more than 70 people,” he said.

“This is dozens of families who are being equipped with the skills to give their kids the best start at life and schooling with the assistance of HIPPY and”

NURTURING FUTURE GENERATIONS: Murray Bridge HIPPY coordinator Rina Atkinson guides children through activities as the release of national research shows strong results for the early childhood education program.

Enrolments are open for this year’s 4-5 year old HIPPY program in Murray Bridge and the Riverland, which provides free activities for parents and their children to provide the best start for school learning.

SBS World News HIPPY report, February 11, 2021

For more information about the Murray Bridge program email or call 8531 4900.

For more information about the Riverland program email or call 8580 5300. can be contacted on 1300 ACCARE (1300 22 22 73).

Read about Katisha’s personal HIPPY journey at Locations is a dynamic organisation servicing the South Australian communities the Limestone Coast, Murraylands, Riverland, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula.

Our mission is for all country people to have a safe home, enough money to live on and strong, positive relationships.

Please find our service locations here or use our contact form to request a service.

Mount Gambier
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70-72 White Avenue Mount Gambier, SA 5290
PO Box 1842 Mount Gambier SA 5290
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Mount Gambier
Community Centre

22-24 Ferrers Street Mount Gambier, SA 5290
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Mount Gambier
Family Relationship Centre

1 Helen Street (cnr Bay Road) Mount Gambier, SA 5290
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10:30am to 5pm
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Berri Community Centre
Servicing the Riverland

5 Kealley Street Street Berri, SA 5343
PO Box 1345 Berri, SA 5343
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Murraylands Centre
Servicing the Murraylands, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula

29 Bridge Street Murray Bridge, SA 5253
PO Box 2090 Murray Bridge, SA 5253
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Community Centre

57-59 George Street Millicent, SA 5280
PO Box 378 Millicent, SA 5280
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