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Parenting information sessions

Adults and young children sitting outside 

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

How to book

  • Bookings are essential as there are limited places available for each session.
  • You will be sent a link to join the online presentation, once you have booked in.
  • Most presentations are free to attend or low cost.
  • If you require a certificate of attendance, then please select this option when booking.  There is no cost to be emailed a certificate.

Parenting information sessions 2021

Further parenting information sessions for 2021 will be announced soon. 

Youth Employment: Information session for carers and parents of young people 

Join us for a conversation about youth employment with specialists from the local youth employment and education sector. Learn about local youth employment trends and data, and explore ways to support young people to recognise and build on employment skills and strategies. This webinar is a partnership between Knox, Maroondah and Yarra Ranges Council Youth Services

Presented by: Brooke Young, Outer Eastern Local Learning and Employment Network (OELLEN) and Melinda Davis, Skills and Job Centre

Date: Thursday 14 October
7 - 8.30pm
Online via Zoom

Bookings are essential

Book online

Download the Flyer  (pdf, 502KB)

For further information contact Michelle Pascoe, Knox Youth Services, or 9298 8000.


2021 Completed sessions 


Reach out and connect:  The suicide conversation for parents

Supportive connection is early prevention.  Join us for this webinar presented by LifeConnect Neami National, to help recognise and support young people who may be at risk of suicide.

Topics will include:

  • Suicide and suicidal thinking are more common than most people realise.
  • Young people are at increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviours - understand why a young person might feel this way.
  • Gain confidence in asking appropriate questions and listening with empathy.
  • Learn how to play a part in community suicide prevention and support the wellbeing of young people in your family.

This session is based on evidence-informed practice and was developed in consultation with people with a lived experience of the impacts of suicide

Presented by: A Community Suicide Prevention Worker and an Allied Health Worker, both from LifeConnect Neami National.

Date: Thursday 7 October
 7pm to 8.30pm

This session is now complete.


Body safety education for parents and carers 

As parents it’s so important we understand that not everyone is a safe person for our children. Teaching children about body safety and consent from an early age will help them to develop respectful relationships as they grow into adults, and be more considerate of others knowing that everyone has the right to feel safe. 

Body safety and consent education aims to empower children with skills and knowledge that will reduce the likelihood of them becoming victims of childhood sexual abuse.

Topics will include:

  • Child sexual abuse - it’s characteristics and statistics.
  • What is grooming?  Why is it so important we know about it?
  • What is body safety and why teach it.
  • Body safety skills, messages and resources.
  • Practical ways you can keep the body safety and consent conversation going in your home and community to protect children. 

About the presenter 

Neil is a passionate leader of ChildSafe Australia - a Not for Profit harm prevention charity of over 14 years built on the integrity of supporting organisations and families to understand how to keep children safe while helping them practically do this. Neil, also a parent will provide you with the tools to educate and support your children empowering them with the 5 Body Safety and consent messages to protect them. 

Presented by: Neil Milton
Tuesday 7 September
 7pm to 8.30pm

Bookings will open for this session on Monday 2 August.


Taming the technology: Parenting in the cyber age

If you have recently felt like your child’s device has become an extension of their body, had an argument about how much time they spend online or just had concerns about what they’re accessing then you are in the majority of Australian parents and carers who feel exactly the same way!

  • One in five children experience online bullying but only 2.1% report it to a teacher.
  • Girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying.
  • More than 80% of boys aged 15+ access pornography weekly and one third of children under 8 have tried to access pornographic content.
  • Fifteen per cent of Aussie teens report being contacted daily by strangers on their social media accounts ad 10% report they actively communicate or respond to strangers daily.
  • And 4% of young people have had someone they met online ask to meet them in person.

Research indicates that parents and carers have the biggest role to play in cyber safety, but 60% say they do not actively monitor their child’s online behaviour.

This session is for parents and carers only; and will provide essential information and resources you can access to protect your children online and navigate the internet safely together.

About the presenter - Kate Wilde

Kate Wilde is an educator, counsellor and development worker with over 20 years’ experience working with schools, young people and their families.  
Kate is an engaging facilitator of parent/carer and community forums and sought after conference speaker and facilitator.  She also maintains a small counselling practice working with young people and their families.  

Presented by: Kate Wilde
Date: Thursday 26 August
Time: 7pm to 8.30pm
Venue: online
Cost: Free

Building blocks of wellbeing

Practical strategies to support you and your children to flourish

More than ever we are aware of the importance of looking after the mental health and wellbeing of ourselves and our children. Join us to discuss strategies for building wellbeing and becoming the best version of ourselves.

Throughout this session you will:

  • Gain an understanding of the PERMAH wellbeing framework and the science of Positive Psychology.
  • Hear an introduction to each of the PERMAH pillars and evidence behind its link to wellbeing.
  • Hear practical examples of PERMAH building activities; and be introduced to a range of tools to build on each of these pillars in your own life.
  • Leave with ideas for how you could implement tiny habits in to your daily routine to increase your own and your families’ wellbeing.

Building Blocks of Wellbeing information flyer  (pdf, 796KB).

About the presenters

Rachelle Jones and Mel Jeffery are qualified youth workers and members of Maroondah City Council’s Youth and Children’s services team, which aims to raise the wellbeing of Maroondah’s young people. Rachelle and Mel have a wealth of experience supporting young people to flourish and are excited to share their knowledge with parents to develop a positive family culture at home.

Presented by:Rachelle Jones and Mel Jeffery
Date:Tuesday 8 June
Time:7pm to 8.30pm

The sessions offered in 2020 are detailed below. Please note that due to covid-19 some sessions were postponed or cancelled.

Online safety

This event has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience.The eSafety Commissioner has provided vital resources for those working from home and for those parents and carers who may be supporting their children through remote learning during the pandemic. Read more:COVID-19: an online safety kit for parents and carers

This presentation explores the latest research into online safety, technology trends and the benefits and risks of social media.

It includes case studies and targeted advice on helping children and young people to have safe, enjoyable online experiences.

Participants will learn about:

  • Online safety issues such as cyberbullying, online pornography, sending nude photos, sexting, time online, gaming and unwanted contact.
  • eSafety’s removal powers related to serious cyberbullying, child sexual abuse material and image-based abuse.
  • Practical strategies to safeguard and minimise online risks for those working with and caring for young people.
  • Where to access online safety parenting resources and advice.

About the presenter - Greg Gebhart

Greg Gebhart is one of Australia’s leading online safety presenters. Greg has provided presentations to more than 800,000 participants at state, national and international events.

He has a strong background in leadership and change and has held senior positions including Regional Manager for the Victorian Industry and Education Partnerships program and Chair of his Regional Adult Education Board.

Greg has been recognised for his achievements and passion for helping others, receiving a global achievement award through the International Society for Technology in Education.

Presented by: Greg Gebhart (Office of the eSafety Commissioner)
Date: this event has been cancelled
Time: 7pm to 8.30pm
Venue: Karralyka
Cost: Free

Understanding your teen and helping their transition to become a young adult

Come along and hear how you can support your teen and stay connected to them. The presentation will include:

  • Understanding why adolescents behave the way they do.
  • Emotions, mood and brain development during the teenage years.
  • Strategies for keeping communication lines open, setting boundaries and promoting resilience and independence.
  • Understanding the changing relationship as your teenager becomes more independent.
  • Helping your teen to grow towards their best possible adult!

About the presenter: Kate Wilde

Kate is an educator, counsellor and development worker with over twenty-five years experience working with young people, their families and communities.

Kate spent five years at Manningham Youth & Family Services as a counsellor and Programs Coordinator and then as the Youth Programs Coordinator for Upper Yarra Community House.

In 2005 Kate founded ‘The Workshop’with Richard Williams and has gone on to become a highly respected provider of programs to agencies, schools, refugee groups, LGA’s and community organisations. Kate is an engaging facilitator and maintains a small counselling practice working with young people and their families.

Presented by: Kate Wilde
Date: Wednesday 12 August
Time: 7pm to 8.30pm
Venue: this session will now be held online
Cost: Free

This session is complete

Anxious kids - from anxiety to resilience

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when your child suffers from anxiety, but there are many things you can to do help.

In this presentation Dr Jodi Richardson will share her experience and talk about:

  • What is resilience?
  • What do kids need to develop resilience?
  • Building distress tolerance in children.
  • Why are so many kids anxious?
  • What happens in an anxious brain.
  • The contagious nature of anxiety.
  • How parents can better manage their own stress.
  • Essential tools for parents and children to manage anxiety and more.

About the presenter: Dr Jodi Richardson

Dr Jodi Richardson is a mental health and wellbeing author, speaker and educator. She’s dedicated to helping parents and teachers understand anxiety in their children and students, how it makes them feel (and why), and how to respond in ways that empower anxious kids with the insights and skills they need to thrive.

Jodi has developed her expertise over two decades of professional work in teaching, wellbeing, clinical practice and elite sport; including working for Beyond Blue on the national schools-based initiative for the prevention of depression.

A mother of two primary-school-aged children, she is the founder and director ofHappier on Purpose, the mental health and wellbeing expert for parenting ideas and is co-author of the best-selling book ‘Anxious Kids: How children can turn their anxiety into resilience’.

Presented by: Dr Jodi Richardson
Date: Tuesday 12 May- rescheduled for 26 August 2020
Time: 7pm to 8.30pm
Venue: this session will now be held online
Cost: $10 per person

This session is booked out.

Understanding communication differences and anxiety in young children on the autism spectrum

Gain insight into the language and communication differences of children on the autism spectrum and how this may affect their interactions with others. You will also:

  • Learn strategies to support the communication needs of children on the autism spectrum.
  • Understand the link between neurology, anxiety and communication.
  • Discover various ways to communicate with your child/children in your care when they are anxious.
  • Learn how anxiety can manifest differently in relation to different situations and contexts.
  • Understand the link between sensory sensitivities, anxiety and overall functioning.
  • Leave with strategies to try with your children to support them to manage their anxiety effectively.

About the presenter: Ebony Birch-Hanger

Ebony Birch-Hanger is a qualified Neuro-developmental Therapist, Special Education Teacher, Teacher of the Deaf, education consultant and music specialist with over 10 years of experience supporting individuals with a variety of additional needs and medical conditions. As Ebony is also on the autism spectrum herself, she will bring a genuine perspective of true lived experience to this presentation.

She has presented at many state and national conferences as well as several educational institutions and local councils. She has recently contributed to a Victorian Department of Education/Yellow Ladybugs resource titled ‘Spotlight on Girls with Autism’.

Presented by: Ebony Birch-Hanger
Date: Tuesday 23 June- rescheduled 17 February 2021
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Venue: this session will now be held online
Cost: free

Bookings for this session will open in 2021.

Body safety - powerful tips for keeping our children safe

Join leading expert and international best-selling author ofMy Underpants Rule, Kate Power for this informative presentation.

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 about protection.
  • How to incorporate things that kids love and leave them feeling empowered and confident.

About the presenter: Kate Power

Kate Power is co-author and illustrator of the international best-selling child protection book MyUnderpants RULE!,and the popular booksMy Tricky EYE-SPY! andMy Device RULES,

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.Kate believes engaging early education is key to a safer world.

Presented by: Kate Power
Date: Thursday 3 Septemberpostponed to 2021. Date TBC
Time: 7pm to 8.30pm
Venue: Karralyka
Cost: Free

Peaceful parents, peaceful kids

This parent session is intended to help parents boost their own wellbeing as well as learning strategies to support their own child’s wellbeing.

Georgina will talk about a range of topics, including:

  • Mindful parenting strategies.
  • Introduction to mindfulness strategies to keep stress levels low.
  • Positive psychology strategies to boost wellbeing.
  • Slowing life down and being more in the flow.
  • Helping children manage their feelings.
  • Mindful play.
  • Coaching children through their problems.
  • Importance of self care.

About the presenter: Georgina Manning

Georgina Manning is the Director ofWellbeing for Kids, a counsellor and psychotherapist and the owner of Elk Wellbeing, an allied health centre in Fitzroy North, Melbourne.

She has many years of experience working in schools supporting children and parents to reach effective social and emotional outcomes. She runs regular parent seminars in schools, school professional development days and is a national speaker for wellbeing events.

Georgina has created the ‘Peaceful Kids’ and 'Peaceful Parents' Mindfulness and positive psychology programs and holds training for school staff and mental health professionals across many states in Australia.

Presented by: Georgina Manning
Date: Tuesday 21 Julypostponed to 2021. Date TBC.
Time: 7pm to 8.30pm
Venue: Karralyka
Cost: Free

 The sessions offered in 2019 included:

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.

Presented by: Hannah Gamble
Date: Tuesday 5 March

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.

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.

Presented by: Louise Dorrat
Date: Wednesday 13 March

Strength based parenting

Lea’s presentation, based on her bookThe Strength Switch: How The New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourishhelps 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.

Presented by: Lea Waters
Date: Tuesday 7 May

Social stories and behaviour scripts

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.

Presented by: Frances Brennan
Date: Tuesday 28 May

Body safety - Powerful tips for keeping our children safe

Join leading expert and international best-selling author ofMy Underpants RuleKate 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.

Presented by: Kate Power
Date: Tuesday 3 September

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.

Presented by: Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS)
Date: Tuesday 17 September

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

Presented by: Cybersafety Project
Date: Tuesday 29 October

The sessions offered in 2018 included:

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

Presented by: Rebecca Van Dyk
Suitable for: Parents, carers and educators of children aged 0-5years old
Date: 19 March 2018

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

Presented by: Steven Dupon
Suitable for: Parents, grandparents, carers, teachers, educators
Date: 24 May 2018

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.

Presented by: Deanne Carson (Body Safety Australia)
Suitable for: Parents, grandparents, carers, educators and teachers
Date: 26 June 2018

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.

Presented by:Kate Johnson (Spectrum Journeys Inc)
Suitable for:Parents and carers
Date: 19 July 2018

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

Presented by: Louise Dorrat
Suitable for: Parents, grandparents, carers, educators and teachers of children aged 0 to 8 years old
Date: 24 July 2018


Sessions are usually held online or 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 keep your information private here

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