Communities for Children

Empowering children and young people in Shellharbour to reach their full potential.

Stronger communities. Supported children.

Barnardos Australia is working to improve the health and wellbeing of children, young people and families through the Communities for Children program. In partnership with local organisations across the Shellharbour Local Government Area, we aim to deliver programs that focus on early childhood development, mentoring and family support to give children and young people the best start in life.

Barnardos Australia receives funding from the Department of Social Services to deliver the Communities for Children program.


Communities for Children programs

Passport to Success

The Passport to Success program prepares students for the important move to High School. It increases their skills, knowledge, and attitude to effectively manage their transition through the following topics:

  • Identifying their thoughts and feelings about the transition
  • Learning styles and barriers to their learning and growth mindset
  • Time Management
  • Myth-busting
  • Assignments, research, marking rubrics and putting into practice their learnings
  • Motivation and recap

Eligibility: All Year 6 students from Barrack Heights Public School, Warilla Public School, Warilla North Public School, Mt Warrigal Public School, Albion Park Rail Public School.

More information

or contact Momoni on 0408 461 523

Program by:

Waves Resilience

Waves Resilience offers mentoring/counselling sessions at the beach and in the water. Participants set their goals based on areas of their lives they want to improve. The program is for children, young people and adults in families who:

  • want to have a go at surfing, bodyboarding or simply improve their confidence being in the water.
  • want to talk about relationships, family communication, stress, mental health, self-esteem, drugs and alcohol, school, peers, work, lack of work or something else.

Eligibility: Children, young people and adults in families

Referral form
More information

or contact Phil on or 0427 697 173

Program by:

Volunteer Family Connect

Karitane VFC connects parents with trained, caring, experienced and confidential volunteers who provide support to overcome parenting challenges.

This program helps parents adjust to a new baby, cope with multiple children, overcome isolation and connect with local services.

If you have children aged birth – 5 years and need more support, then Karitane VFC can help.

More information

Program by:

Language Connections

The Language Connections program supports educators in Early Childhood across the Shellharbour LGA to implement the Abecedarian 3a Approach in their everyday interactions, practices, and programming with children from birth – 3 years.

Educational settings involved in this program are ECTARC Warilla Education and Care Service, Illawarra Academy Warilla, Mt Warrigal and Lake Illawarra, ECTARC Wallaroo Education and Care Service, Tongarra Road Preschool and Early Learning Centre, ECTARC Alunga Education and Care Service.

For more information contact Donna Bartley on 02 4223 1111

Program by:

Inclusive Engagement

The Warilla Education & Care service project connects families with local resources and allied health professionals within their community. 

Inclusive Engagement offers access to a Psychologist, Child & Family Practitioner, and an Occupational Therapist who work to support families and children with relationships, transitions, attachment, play and regulation. Families can also gain a diagnosis and funding for their child through referrals to LifeStart.

For more information contact Kathryn Barker on 02 4223 1100

Program by:


Tweens Plus offers a range of targeted programs including:

DRUMBEAT Program – delivered in schools to support children transitioning to High School and at risk of disengagement from education.
TWEENS Drop In and mentorship program – at Warilla North Community Centre on Wednesday afternoons in school term, with a holiday activity, for primary children 10 years and over.
2528 Girls Only Program – safe travel, life skills, cooking and visiting agencies that support the health and wellbeing of young girls, together with social activities, creative and expressive play.
Girls Only Go Bounce Transition Program – builds skills to transition to High School and is delivered in term 4, along with holiday sessions.
Parallel parents Girls Only Program – aims to build parents connection with their daughters.

Referral is via schools and other community programs.

For more information contact Nikke at or 0450 896 081

Program by:

The Parenting Program

A child and family focused initiative that offers a suite of support programs including Circle of Security Parenting workshop, Cool Kids anxiety workshop (7 – 12 years) and Cool Little Kids anxiety workshop (3 – 6 years). Families who require further support can receive home visits and child and family case management. The focus is on child development, behaviour, safety, physical and emotional wellbeing, the child-parent relationship, and childcare competency.

Eligibility: Families living in the Shellharbour Council area with children 0 – 12 years of age.

More information

or contact Kristen at or 0409 306 534 or 02 4295 8774

Program by:

Indigenous Network Program

This program empowers young Aboriginal year 7 students transitioning from Primary School to High School, and year 8 students to remain engaged in High School education. This is done through a range of cultural, age-specific activities and workshops which increase social skill, cultural awareness and identity. 

The program runs each Wednesday from 9am – 2.30pm during school terms. Students are supported by Elders and Aboriginal staff each week.

More information

or contact Steve at or 0423 558 059

Program by:

Active In-Betweens

Active In-Betweens is a free, weekly after-school activity where children aged 8 – 12 years old learn about active living and healthy eating, which contribute to good health and positive self-esteem.

Program activities start in the second week of the NSW School terms and finish at the end of the term.

Mon: 3pm – 4:30pm Albion Park Rail Community Centre
Thurs: 3pm – 4:30pm Warilla Neighbourhood Centre

More information

Program by:

The Dinner Table Project

The Dinner Table Project is a 6-week cooking program where adults and kids cook healthy meals and share dinner together. This program is FREE for families with at least one child aged 8 years and over (younger siblings are welcome).

Groups will run at Albion Park Rail Primary School.

More information

Program by:

Want to know more?

Check out our Building Stronger Communities Shellharbour report below. The report focuses on identifying strengths, interests, and opportunities for effective programs to guide local Strategic Planning for children aged 0 - 18 years.

Enquire about Communities for Children