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Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Page: 926

Mr ZAPPIA (1:46 PM) —Last Saturday I attended the 10th anniversary fete and celebrations of the King’s Kids Playgroup held at the Golden Grove Baptist Church. The playgroup was established by young parents of King’s Baptist Grammar School community at Golden Grove as a means of providing support to one another during the very demanding stage of life, in the early years of marriage, when the pressures of life for parents of young children can be overwhelming. Over the past 10 years, hundreds of families have been part of the playgroup, and I have no doubt that many lasting friendships have been formed between the children and between families.

Reflecting on the difficulties faced by young families in Australia, members of the playgroup empathise with how much more difficult life for young mothers and young children might be in developing countries and have today become advocates for Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, which focus on infant and maternal mortality. Simultaneously, the King’s Kids Playgroup has also been fundraising to assist mothers and children in developing countries. At present their fundraising is being directed through the SIMaid project ‘Caring for Kids’. That project is aimed at improving the survival rate of orphans and other vulnerable children under the age of five in Burkina Faso. A petition in the form of a birthday card was signed by all those present on the day, requesting the Australian government lift its international aid funding. I was asked to pass the card on to Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and I will do that. I congratulate the King’s Kids Playgroup on their 10th birthday and I commend the members of the playgroup for their care and compassion not only for one another but for young families across the world.