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Parenting information sessions

Parent info sessions

Council organises parenting information sessions for parents, grandparents and carers in Maroondah to support families in their parenting journeys with children and young people.

These sessions are free to attend. A certificate of attendance is available for educators on request for $20. Please choose this option when booking.

How to book

  • Bookings are essential as there are limited places available for each session.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before the start of the session to allow time to park and sign in.


Communication in under 5s

This workshop will give early childhood educators and parents practical teaching ideas and tools to support children under the age of 5 years on the autism spectrum who have limited verbal skills.

This workshop will include the following: 

  • Communication difficulties in young children with ASD
  • Developing shared attention and requesting
  • Creating opportunities for communication
  • Strategies for the Early Childhood setting and the home

About Rebecca Van Dyk

Rebecca Van Dyk is the principal speech pathologist and manager of Chirnside Park Speech Pathology. Rebecca has over 15 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and their families to improve their speech, language, and communication skills.

Rebecca has a Bachelor of Speech Pathology and is registered with Speech Pathology Australia.  She has worked in schools, preschools, community clinics and private practice in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne as well as in the United Kingdom. Rebecca is also a board member of Spectrum Journeys Inc, a local not for profit organisation supporting families and educators of children on the autism spectrum.

Rebecca's special interests are working with children on the autism spectrum, expressive and receptive language disorders, stuttering, articulation, phonology, and young children with language delays. Rebecca prides herself on keeping therapy sessions fun and engaging, and setting practical goals in collaboration with parents and educators.

Presented by: Rebecca Van Dyk
Suitable for: Parents, carers and educators of children aged 0-5years old
Date: Monday 19 March
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Venue: Karralyka

This session is now complete. 

The impact of video games on children and young people

The online world offers both opportunities and risks to children and young people. So what are the parenting strategies that simultaneously optimize the online opportunities for children while minimizing online risks?

Join Steven Dupon, Founder of the Institute of Games and for a discussion on how to keep our children safe and healthy in a world that is rapidly changing.

Expect to learn more about

  • Parenting strategies to balance screen time in the family home.
  • When to seek professional help
  • Violence and other inappropriate content for children
  • Online gambling in online worlds
  • How to create positive gaming experiences

About Steven Dupon

Steven Dupon is the Director of The Institute of Games and the National Youth Empowerment Coordinator at YMCA Australia. For the past 8 years Steven has studied gaming and the impacts gaming has on children and young people.

Steven specialises in the wellbeing of gamers and their families.  He provides resources for parents and professionals on how to better manage gaming at home but also looks at how we can use games as an agent for positive change. 

Steven is the author of the ‘Video Games Report’, Parent’s Guide to Gaming and the Manual on Dealing with Excessive Gaming all of which are available from

Presented by: Steven Dupon
Suitable for: Parents, grandparents, carers, teachers, educators
Date: Thursday 24 May
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Venue: Karralyka

This session is now complete. 

Body safety

Body safety education (protective behaviours) is whole community education to protect children from sexual abuse.  This workshop supports the respectful relationships curriculum and will help communities become Child Safe Standards compliant.

Comprehensive body safety education empowers adults to champion children’s rights, while teaching children relationship skills that will benefit them for life.

Teaching children body safety skills is the same as teaching them about healthy eating. While they are small you are making all their food choices for them, but as they grow you want them to have the skills to understand about nutrition. The earlier you start, the more confident they will be.

This workshop will cover:

  • Childhood sexual abuse; the risk, myths and misconceptions
  • Ten key areas of body safety including consent, assertive communication and identifying trusted adults
  • Identifying grooming behaviours
  • Age appropriate play
  • Digital technology, grooming and abuse prevention
  • Practical body safety strategies to teach children
  • Supporting the at-risk child including self-care

This workshop is interactive and each attendee will receive a booklet of information and activities.

Body Safety Australia has also developed age-appropriate books and activities that will be available for purchase alongside carefully curated picture books that support body safety education.

About Deanne Carson

Deanne Carson is a speaker, author, researcher and educator specialising in sexual abuse prevention education, respectful relationships, sexuality education and gender equity.

As co-founder of Body Safety Australia, Deanne has been instrumental in developing a comprehensive approach to abuse prevention that engages adults, empowers children and strengthens communities.

Presented by: Deanne Carson (Body Safety Australia)
Suitable for: Parents, grandparents, carers, educators and teachers
Date: Tuesday 26 June
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Venue: Karralyka

This session is now complete.

Choosing a kinder or school for a child on the spectrum

Choosing an early childhood program or school that is inclusive, embraces Autism and has quality processes and practices is important.  Do you feel overwhelmed and want to know some great ideas to help you decide the best option for your child?

In this workshop, you will learn about what you can look for and ask when choosing an Early Childhood Service or School, as well as hear practical examples of what an embracing and inclusive school could look like or include.  You will also be equipped with self care strategies to support yourself through transition periods.

About Kate Johnson

Kate Johnson is the Founder and Director at Spectrum Journeys Inc, a not for profit autism service equipping and empowering families and educators as they support children on the autism spectrum to flourish.  Kate is a mum of four, including her eldest on the autism spectrum.  Kate has worked in Community Services for over 10 years. 

Presented by: Kate Johnson (Spectrum Journeys Inc)
Suitable for: Parents and carers
Date: Thursday 19 July
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Venue: Maroondah City Council City Offices

This session is now complete

Guiding children’s behaviour and building resilience

Do you wonder why your child behaves the way they do and are you confused as to what to do about it?  How do you get the balance right between protecting children from possible harm without wrapping them up in the proverbial ‘cotton wool’?

This session will discuss possible triggers for challenging behaviours and how to support children in building their resilience.

  • Identify what triggers children’s behaviour
  • A 7 step plan to support your children and to encourage cooperative behaviour
  • The importance of play in children’s learning
  • Strategies to build resilience in children

About Louise Dorrat

Louise Dorrat (MEd, BTeach, Dip SSc) has a long history of teaching behaviour guidance at Swinburne, Victoria University and Deakin University. She has extensive experience in managing early childhood services and is contracted by organisations such as Federal and State Governments, Early Learning Association Australia, Child Australia and Gowrie to deliver training across Australia. Louise’s presentations are at once engaging and informative. 

Presented by: Louise Dorrat
Suitable for: Parents, grandparents, carers, educators and teachers of children aged 0 to 8 years old
Date: Tuesday 24 July
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Venue: Karralyka

This session is now complete. 

Further information

For more details on Council’s parent information sessions, please contact Cathie Wills (Tuesdays and Fridays) on 9294 5740 or email 

Join our Mailing List for Parents

If you would like to receive information on upcoming parenting sessions and other family events in Maroondah, you can join our Parent mailing list. Contact the Maroondah City Council Children’s Services Team on 9294 5740 or email

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