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8 November, 2022
P&C essentials!
Your financial review

All P&Cs need to have their financials looked over by an independent reviewer/auditor after the end of the year. Treasurers - we have a heap of resources to step you through the process of creating and gathering the necessary reports and paperwork! Now is a great time to start!

As an alternative to paying an expensive auditor or reviewer, Council is facilitating a 'book swap' scheme for small P&Cs (gross receipts less than $400,000 pa) where two treasurers review each other's books. If you'd like to be involved, simply fill in this form and we will find you a swap partner!
Sign up for BOOK SWAP
Celebrate your year!

It's been a tough couple of years for P&Cs and so it's well worth celebrating what you have been able to achieve this year, and thank everyone involved. We have some ideas and resources for great ways to say Thank You!.

Send us a snap!
We'd love to compile a slideshow to celebrate P&C achievements in 2022 - to share with everyone.

Please send us a pic of a highlight for your P&C this year and we'll send your P&C a special Thank You!

Email your photo here.
Promote connection and health

ACT Health Promotion Grants offer funding to community-based organisations to improve the health of Canberrans. This year, the grant priorities line up well with P&C activities. Applications are due 4pm, Wednesday 21 December. Applicants need to have (or be applying for) an ABN.

Healthy & active children/young people
There's funding for community-based projects to improve the health and wellbeing of young Canberrans, with a focus on supporting healthy weight and physical activity in particular target groups. 

Reconnection within priority populations
Up to $40,000 is available for programs to build social connection, increase social contact, and reduce isolation. An example might be encouraging people to volunteer at school; particularly people from target groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, those with a physical or intellectual disability, people with a mental illness, LGBTIQ+ people, or people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Help for canteens
Health inspections 

Council's Canteen subcommittee asked whether food safety inspections might be done in a way which was more convenient for canteens. We have discussed the difficulties with ACT Health and received a reply.

Lyndell Hudson, at the Health Protection Service, has acknowledged that they know how busy school canteens are and that often there is only one staff member working.
While for operational reasons the inspectors are not able to always schedule visits outside of serving times, they will generally try not to arrive between 12 and 1:30 to start an inspection. They do need to see the canteen operating, including serving, in order to meet the requirements of the inspection. They do not expect canteen staff to stop serving children to answer questions – they will wait until staff are free to have the necessary conversations. Apparently, the inspectors' time schedule allows for this.

ACT Health have also offered to run a session specifically for P&Cs about food safety in canteens. Please contact Council if you would be interested in attending such a session and we will organise it if there is enough interest. They also provided some practical tips to help make the inspections easier for canteens:
  • Ensure the Food Safety Supervisor information is on display (inspectors then don’t have to ask staff to locate it)
  • Ensure the Food Business Registration is on display (as above)
  • Have a running list of your food safety questions ready. Make it a learning opportunity, not a feared inspection! Inspectors are very happy to answer questions eg about food storage, preparation, food safety procedures.
Parent voice
Mobile phones in schools
Council is gathering parent and carer views on mobile phones in schools and wants to hear from you! Following a productive discussion at Council's last General Meeting, six questions have been sent to delegates. It would be appreciated if delegates could respond by 14 November so we can collate the responses to further discuss at our November meeting.  

Key questions
  1. What is your school's mobile phone policy?
  2. How do parents in your school feel about mobile phone use?
  3. Do you think that there should be different rules for different age groups, e.g., primary, high school and college?
  4. Are parents in your school worried about mobile phone addiction?
  5. Do parents want a consistent ACT-wide policy on mobile phone use in schools or are they okay with the current system of schools setting their own?
  6. Any other feedback/comments?
Council events
Celebrate with us! November meeting.

Our November meeting is our AGM, and we'd love to see you there - in person

This is a great opportunity to speak face-to-face with others in the P&C world, and celebrate what we have all achieved this year. 

There will be a special Thank You to all the volunteers who make P&Cs - and Council - work. Plus a special guest! 

It's on Tuesday 22 November, 7pm, Centre for Teaching & Learning, 51 Fremantle Dr, Stirling.

Please let us know if you're coming, for catering purposes.

We will review our achievements and financials for 2021-2022 (as detailed in our Annual Report) and elect new Council Executives and representatives.

You can be part of the 2023 Council team!
Council positions available, and how to nominate, will be circulated with the AGM papers this week to all delegates and P&C presidents.
Early Learning Meeting

Our next early learning meeting is on Thursday 17 November (Week 6) from 7:30-8:30pm - Register here for the Zoom meeting.

We'll discuss orientation processes and partnering with schools to organise welcome events for Early Learning families. We'll hear from Tessa Lau about organising the Mawson Preschool Spring Fair and tips for keeping events stress free. There's also plenty of time to catch up on preschool/kindy happenings and for feedback from members. 

 If there’s a topic you’d like to raise please contact Council’s early learning officer, Marina Spurgin .
Policy updates
Council's annual Policy Conference was held at our October General Meeting. It was great to hear policy ideas from delegates and to discuss proposed changes to Council's Policy Document. A new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures Education Policy was agreed to replace the out-of-date Indigenous Education Policy. Over the coming months Council will be exploring whether we can develop a policy on mobile phone use in schools and a policy around Reconciliation.

Find our updated Policy Document on our website.
A big year for Council
It's been a big year here at Council - working to help members, voice parent perspectives, and encourage parents to get involved in schools.

You can read all about it in our 2022 Annual Report! 

We are pretty proud of what we have achieved and plan to continue to building on that.
Upcoming events
  • Executive Meeting, TONIGHT,  7pm.
  • Early Learning Subcommittee meeting, Thursday 17 November, 7pm (Week 6). Register. All welcome.
  • Council Annual General Meeting, Tuesday 22 November, 7pm (Week 7). In person, Centre for Teaching and Learning, 51 Fremantle Dr, Stirling.  RSVP.  All welcome.
For parents & carers
Free parenting support
Childhood is made up of many moments – big and little; difficult and magical. Make every parenting moment count, grow closer to your child, to help them do well, now and for the future, with free, online support.

Improve child emotional wellbeing, solve problems early on, reduce stress with the fully-researched, Australian Triple P Program.
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Copyright © 2022 ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations Inc. All rights reserved.
Comment authorised by Veronica Elliott for the ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations Inc.

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