Community is at the heart of Carlton Learning Precinct (CLP), where families come together in harmony to meet, mingle and celebrate their children’s learning.

Last month we wrote about the amazing Honeypot Market as part of Harmony Day and Ramadan, and how the community comes together to celebrate their children’s learning of where food comes from, markets, who goes to them and what they do with the things they get from there. This month, families of CLP came together for Special Persons Day which coincided with National Families Week – a week that celebrates the vital role that families play in Australian society, with this year’s theme of ‘Celebrating Family Diversity & Connections.’

Staff hosted a morning tea for all the many wonderful and diverse families at CLP. There were fluffy pancakes, fresh fruits, arts and crafts for the children, and music. The children enjoyed eating their pancakes and playing, while others were getting creative by making cards and gifts for the special people in their lives.

Acknowledging that there are diverse families including multicultural, LGBTQIA+ and non-binary families, it’s incredibly important to foster a sense of community and inclusivity at CLP. Early Learning Manager, Alistair, says that having opportunities to come together allows for more visibility in the diversity that makes up the community. “It offers conversations, connections and sharing in culture, learning and joy,” he says. “For children, they get to engage in connections that can go beyond the service, supporting the strong exposure to wider society and key messaging we have on kindness and respect for all.”

Marissa, School Readiness Funding Coach and Mentor adds to this, saying that lots of families have become friends due to the friendships between their children. “When families are new to the country it gives them the opportunity to connect with other people as well,” she says.

We asked families what Special Persons Day means to them. Here are some of their responses: