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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.

2019 program summary





Parent/carers of this age group


5 March

Thriving families

Hannah Gamble


All ages

13 March

Kinder expo

Expo stalls & Louise Dorrat


0-5 year olds

7 May

Strength based parenting

Dr Lea Waters


All ages

28 May

Using Social Stories to Support Social Skill Development

Frances Brennan


All ages

3 September

Body safety - Powerful tips for keeping our children safe

Kate Power


0-8 year olds

17 September

Talking with children and young people about drugs and alcohol

Youth Support & Advocacy Service (YSAS)


10-18 years old

29 October

The Cyber Safety Project family event

Cybersafety Project


To be confirmed

Sessions 2019

Thriving families

For many families, home is far from a haven from the rush of life. Many are ‘parenting to survive’, rather than to make their household thrive.

Join Paediatric Occupational Therapist, Hannah Gamble to explore:

  • the key ingredients of effective parenting and the healthy habits to support your family to thrive
  • how our own experience of being parented can shape the style of parenting we adopt.
  • how to create a positive family culture at home and how to parent from your value systems.

Thriving families flyer  (pdf, 1MB)

About Hannah Gamble

Hannah Gamble is the director of Thrive Occupational Therapy for Kids; and has over 16 years of clinical experience working with children and families as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist. Hannah is public speaker, author of two books and has more recently published a wellbeing program for primary schools. Understanding, supporting and mobilising the family unit has always been a passion for Hannah. Family counselling and parent coaching has therefore emerged as a key part of Hannah's practice.

Presented by: Hannah Gamble
Date: Tuesday 5 March
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Venue: Karralyka

This session is now complete.

Kinder expo

Do you have a 2 or 3 year old and want to know when you should enrol them for kinder? Then come to the Maroondah Kinder Expo to find out more.

From 6pm to 7pm, families can visit stallholders, speak to teachers and others to learn about:

  • how to enrol children in a kindergarten program
  • the Maroondah Integrated Kindergarten Association (MIKA)
  • Maternal and Child Health assessments
  • immunisation
  • The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Then at 7pm Early Childhood consultant, Louise Dorrat will present an information session to parents about how to support their child during the kinder years, what to expect at kinder, and the child’s social and emotional maturity. Louise will include practical strategies to prepare for a smooth and positive transition to kinder.

Kind expo flyer  (pdf, 888KB)

About Louise Dorrat

Louise Dorrat has extensive experience in managing early year’s services - from Inclusion Support to Family Day Care and assisted in the set up of the first Victorian Bush Kinder. She has taught the Bachelor of Education at a number of Universities. She is contracted by organisations such as Federal and State Governments, Children’s Ground, ELAA, Child Australia and Gowrie to deliver training across Australia.

Louise’s presentations are at once engaging and informative.

Presented by: Louise Dorrat
Date: Wednesday 13 March
Time: 6pm to 8.30pm
Venue: Karralyka

This session is now complete.

Strength based parenting

Parenting is simultaneously the most joyous and the most stressful role.  It is overwhelming, not only due to the pressure parents face juggling work and family; but also due to the burdens our children may face.

The temptation is to pull our kids close to protect them…maybe even over-protect them. But we can’t be there for our kids all the time – it’s exhausting, it’s practically impossible and it’s not effective in the end. Not to mention the fact that our kids don’t want us to be there all the time. They need their space just like we do.

We can’t always protect our kids from the outside world but we can build them up from the inside and make them psychologically strong. So, what does that look like? This is a question Lea Waters PhD has been researching, both as a mother and as a psychologist, for the past 15 years.

What Lea’s research shows is that parents can build inner resilience in their kids by using the science of Strength-Based Parenting to help their children see and use their own strengths to navigate life’s challenges, which is linked to kids having:

  • higher levels of achievement
  • increased levels of life satisfaction and self-esteem
  • reduced risk of depression and anxiety; and
  • better ability to cope with stress and adversity such as friendship issues and
  • homework challenges.

Lea’s presentation, based on her book The Strength Switch: How The New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish helps parents steer themselves away from negativity and criticism by offering a scientifically proven strength-based approach to parenting.  She shares positive psychology tips parents can use to cultivate their child’s inherent strengths. Parents leave motivated to make changes immediately after Lea shares how this small shift in approach can help their children build resilience, optimism and achievement.

Attend this session to learn how to:

  • Easily and consistently discover strengths and talents in children.
  • Use specific techniques to deal with problem behaviours in constructive ways.
  • Interact with kids using positive emotions to deal with difficult situations and emotions.

View the session flyer:

Strength based parenting  (pdf, 297KB)

About Lea Waters

Lea Waters, PhD is a psychologist, researcher, speaker and author.  She’s one of the world’s leading experts on Positive Education, Positive Organisations, and Strength-Based Parenting and Teaching. 

As a University researcher, Lea turns her science into strength-based strategies to help organisations, educators and parents around the world build resilience in their employees and children, helping them to thrive.

Lea is the president of the International Positive Psychology Association, and founding director of the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne.  She is the author of The Strength Switch: How The New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish

Book early to receive a free copy* of Dr Lea Waters’ book, The Strength Switch. 
(* Limited copies available to the first 100 bookings. One copy per household)

Copies of this book will also be available for purchase at the event at $34.99 (eftpos available).

Presented by: Dr Lea Waters
Date: Tuesday 7 May 2019
Time: 7pm to 8.30pm
Venue: Karralyka
Cost: $10 per person

This session is now complete. 

Using Social Stories™ to Support Social Skill Development

Join Speech Pathologist Frances Brennan to learn about the benefits of using social stories to teach particular social skills, such as identifying important cues in a given situation; taking another's point of view; understanding rules, routines, situations, upcoming events or abstract concepts; and understanding expectations.

You will gain an understanding of:

  • what a social story is
  • how to write your own social stories
  • how to introduce new concepts using social stories.

This presentation would benefit parents and individuals who work with people with an intellectual disability or on the autism spectrum.

Using Social Stories™ to support social skill development flyer  (pdf, 679KB)

About Frances Brennan

Frances Brennan, Speech Pathologist and owner of The Speech Tree, has been working with children with additional learning needs for over a decade, as an integration aide, tutor and speech pathologist. Frances enjoys working with children and families with complex needs and is passionate about working with children and adolescents who are struggling to engage in learning.

Frances has experience working with children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder, speech and language impairments, Down Syndrome and Literacy difficulties. More recently Frances has worked as part of the CELF-5 Standardisation Team and is working in conjunction with a publishing company to produce classroom literacy resources.

Presented by: Frances Brennan
Date: Tuesday 28 May 2019
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Venue: Karralyka
Cost: Free

This session is now complete.

Body safety - Powerful tips for keeping our children safe

Join leading expert and international best-selling author of My Underpants Rule, Kate Power for an evening that may be the most important of your child’s life.

A mother of three and former police officer, Kate has dedicated herself to making the world safer for the next generations by offering practical solutions for busy, everyday parents, carers and educators.

Kate will share simple tips, techniques and information including:

  • How and why to have conversations with children about body safety.
  • Clearing up myths that get in the way of children’s safety.
  • How to prepare for sleepovers and playdates.
  • Tips on cyber safety.
  • Easy solutions for parents, carers and educators in teaching children private parts protection.
  • How to extend the learning as your child grows
  • How to incorporate things that kids love and leave them feeling empowered and confident.

Download the program flyer:

Body safety flyer  (pdf, 561KB)

About Kate Power

Kate Power is co-author and illustrator of the international best-selling child protection book My Underpants RULE! and the new stranger danger awareness book My Tricky EYE-SPY!

A former senior police officer and mother of three, she was inspired to make the world safer for children after seeing too many horrific incidents on the job and in her local community.  Her books make tricky topics fun for kids and easy for parents, carers and educators alike.  Schooled in criminology, psychology and teaching, Kate conducts workshops, keynote presentations and is a regular media guest advocating innovative ways to teach child protection.  She believes engaging early education is key to a safer world.

Presented by: Kate Power
Date: Tuesday 3 September 2019
Time: 7pm to 8.30pm
Venue: Karralyka
Cost: Free* 

This session is now fully booked.

Talking with children and young people about drugs and alcohol

This parent information session invites young people to come along with their parents as we share developmentally-appropriate, factual information about prevention, harm reduction and safe choices, including:

  • up to date information about drugs
  • how to respond if you have concerns about your young person
  • how to communicate effectively with young people about drugs and alcohol
  • when and where to seek advice and support if you are concerned.

About Geoff Bayldon

Geoff Bayldon is an experienced Youth Worker, and is a Senior Trainer and Practice Consultant. He has worked at the Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS) for 14 years, across many programs, including Outreach, Day Program, Drug Withdrawal Unit, and long-term Residential Rehabilitation. More recently he was the Manager of the eastern regions community programs.

Geoff has extensive training experience, providing courses on ‘Youth alcohol and other drugs (AOD)’ to a diverse range of organisations including: foster carers, alternative and mainstream schools, OoHC providers, young people, Department of Human Services, Youth Justice, Child Protection, and Victoria Police.

Presented by:  Geoff Bayldon - Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS)
Date:  Tuesday 17 September 2019
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Venue: Karralyka
Cost: Free *

Teens are welcome to attend with their parent/carer.

Book online 

The Cyber Safety Project family event

Building a positive and healthy family environment where digital use is encouraged but managed effectively can be a tough balance. Join Sam and Trent from the Cyber Safety Project to hear how learning safe practices and strategies for maintaining a positive digital reputation starts in the home.

This session provides parents and families with insights and important information about popular social networking and online gaming platforms for young people today. 

  • Learn about Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and how to use their privacy settings
  • Uncover mobile apps and games that can be potentially harmful
  • Discuss strategies to manage digital wellbeing for children at home

About the Cyber Safety Project

Trent Ray has over 11 years’ experience working as a primary and secondary teacher. More recently Trent's roles include Co-Founder of the Cyber Safety Project, Director of Collective Education Australia, working in partnership with the Education team at Microsoft Australia.

With children accessing online tools and social networking sites at a younger age more than ever before, Trent is passionate about ensuring parents and teachers are supported and have access to the most up-to-date information and resources.

Sam Macaulay has experience as a primary school teacher and advocate for student leadership. He is a Co-Founder of Future Learning Academy and the Cyber Safety Project. Sam is motivated to develop and deliver the Cyber Safety Project to reach a broader audience of teachers, students and community members to ensure students 'grow up digital' and learn safe and responsible online habits.

Presented by: Trent Ray and Sam Macaulay - Cyber Safety Project
Date: Tuesday 29 October 2019
Time: 7pm to 8.30pm
Venue: Karralyka
Cost:  Free * 

  • Primary school aged children and older are encouraged to attend this session with their parents/carers.
  • Parents/carers and educators can also attend without children.
  • The session will start with parents and children all together.  Then Trent will talk to the parents, while Sam will do some activities and have a discussion with the children.

Book online

How to book

  • Please note the dates that bookings will open for each session.
  • Please note that children cannot be accommodated at these sessions.
  • Bookings are essential as there are limited places available for each session.
  • These sessions are offered free of charge or low cost, please check details for each session.  Educators do have the option to request a certificate of attendance for $20.  Please choose this option when booking.
  • Arrive 15 minutes before the start of the session to allow time to park and sign in.

View the 2018 Parenting Information Sessions we had on offer last year


Sessions will be held at:

  • Karralyka
    Mines Road,
    Ringwood East, 3135

Further information

For more details on Council’s parent information sessions, please contact Cathie Wills 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 You can see how we how we keep your information private here

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