Minutes of the Children's Services Reference Group



Meeting Date:    Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Location:            Jervis Bay Rooms, City Administrative Centre, Bridge Road, Nowra

Time:                   4:10pm



The following members were present:

Clr Patricia White

Clr John Levett

Clr Nina Cheyne

Ms Cathy Ryman

Ms Belinda Hibbert

Ms Kim Stouse-Lee

Ms Linda Windley



Others Present:

Amanda Doyle – South Coast Medical Services Aboriginal Corporation

Melissa Andrews – Community Development Officer

Sara McMahon – Governance Unit Business Manager

Jane Lewis – Section Manager, Recreation Community and Culture



Apologies / Leave of Absence


An apology was received from Clr Findley, Ms Kim Thompson, Ms Michelle Woszatka, Ms Tanya McGeachie, Ms Melissa Wicks, Clr Gartner


Election of Chairperson

RESOLVED (By consent)

That  Clr White be appointed as the Acting Chairperson for Children’s Services Reference Group.




Confirmation of the Minutes

RESOLVED (By consent)

That the Minutes of the meeting of the Children’s Services Reference Group held on Wednesday 11 May 2016 be confirmed.



It was noted that the inclusive play space, Livvi’s Place at Mollymook, has been fully funded and construction will begin in the near future.

The Chairperson welcomed everyone and the members introduced themselves.


Declarations of Interest


Cathy Ryman – CS17.3 – Pecuniary interest declaration – Is an employee of Shoalhaven Family Day Care – remained in the room but did not take part in discussion or vote.




Sara McMahon, Governance Unit Business Manager provided a presentation on Council’s Code of Conduct and Meeting Procedure.






CS17.1       Revised Terms of Reference

HPERM Ref: D17/21402



1.      The Children’s Services Reference Group accept the revised Terms of Reference.

2.      Council endorse the revised Terms of Reference of the Children’s Services Reference Group

The Committee discussed the revised Terms of Reference and determined that the following changes/additions be made:

Item 3.4 Meetings

  • Meetings will be held 4 times each year (one (1) meeting per school term, one (1) of which is to be a planning day)
  • The planning day to be held in July each year

Item 3.8 Council Staff Attendance

  • Providing administrative support to the relevant Council staff to distribute information between the Committee and the Community Development Team.
  • Other staff at the relevant Group Directors’ discretion or at the Committee’s request can attend meetings as required. Staff, with the exception of the nominated supervisor of Family Day Care Services, have no voting privileges.

Election of Chairperson

  • The Chairperson will be elected annually by the Committee at the planning day.


The chair of the Children’s Services Reference Group is the point of contact for communication between Children’s Services Reference Group members and Council staff.

Recommendation (Belinda Hibbert / Linda Windley)


1.    The Children’s Services Reference Group incorporate the changes to the revised Terms of Reference.

2.    Council endorse the revised Terms of Reference of the Children’s Services Reference Group.





CS17.2       Additional Item - Member Attendance at Meetings

The Committee considered the number of members who attended the meeting and agreed that all members should contacted to confirm their intention to attend future meetings.


RESOLVED (By consent)

That Council write to all members:

  • Requesting confirmation of their intention to attend future meetings.
  • If the current nominated representative is not able to attend future meetings, the organisation to nominate a new representative.
  • A copy of the revised Terms of Reference to be provided with the letter.




CS17.3       Additional Item - Shoalhaven Family Day Care

Jane Lewis provided an update on the recent resolution by Council regarding Shoalhaven Family Day Care and advised that there is no formal decision at this point in time. Staff are currently liaising with Ann Sudmalis MP and consideration is being given to options and opportunities regarding funding. Once all information has been collated, a report will be provided to Council for consideration.


Members discussed the issue and voiced their support for continuation of the Family Day Care service. It was noted that positive feedback about the service continues to be received.


Note: Cathy Ryman declared a conflict of interests – she is employee of Shoalhaven Family Day Care – remained in the room but did not take part in discussion or vote.


RESOLVED (By consent)

That Council take into consideration that the Children’s Services Reference Group fully supports Council’s continuation of Family Day Care Service as a service provider for this well respected service for the community..




CS17.4       Additional Item - Children's Services Directory

The Committee discussed the Children’s Services Directory information on Council’s website and agreed that, while there is a link to the community directory, it can be difficult to find information such as location of child care centres.


It was noted that the link to “Starting Blocks”, a useful website that provides information about child care for parents/carers, should be added to the Community Services “landing page”. The Committee discussed the information on Council’s website and the possibility of using promotional videos, similar to the one for the promotion of Council’s Disability Inclusion Plan.


It was noted that Boori Preschool has vacancies and enquires can be directed to 02 44480200.





RESOLVED (Linda Windley / Kim Stouse-Lee)

That Council:

  • No longer print a paper version of the Children’s Services Directory and all information be contained on Council’s website in a user friendly way.
  • Add a link from its Community Services “landing page” on the website to the “Starting Blocks” website and include wording to clearly show that “Starting Blocks” will assist parents/carers to locate child care.
  • Re-prioritise the related links on the Community Services “Children” page




CS17.5       Additional Item - Childhood Immunisation Service, Access to Swimming Lessons, Early Links Support Service


Closure of Council’s Free Childhood Immunisation Service

The Committee discussed this issue and Clr White provided an update to members regarding the closure of the free childhood immunisation service after the December 2016 clinics.


It was noted that the South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation bulk bill clients.  The contact phone number for the Nowra clinic is 02 44480200. Clr Cheyne noted that immunisation is one of the priority areas identified by Coordinare Primary Health, more information can be found on the website http://www.coordinare.org.au/ .


Nowra Family Support Service - Access to Swimming Lessons

Clr Cheyne advised that, at its meeting on 31 January 2017, Council resolved to support the Nowra Family Support Services fundraising campaign by donating $4,000 to assist in providing learn to swim classes for family members. 


Beach accessible wheelchairs

Clr Cheyne advised the Committee that Council recently secured grant funding to purchase beach wheelchairs for adults and children with disabilities. Beach wheelchairs are free to hire at the following locations:

  • Holiday Haven Parks at Huskisson Beach, Moona – Moona Creek and Lake Tabourie
  • Culburra Beach Surf Club
  • Mollymook Beach Surf Club
  • Shoalhaven Heads Beach Surf Club
  • Sussex Inlet Beach Surf Club
  • Palm Beach Greville’s Corner Store

More information can be found at http://shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au/My-Community/Community-services/Disability/Beach-Wheelchairs


Early Links Inclusion Support Service

It was noted that this program is an early intervention support service supporting children, from birth to 8, with a developmental delay or disability.  Parents/carers with children who have an undiagnosed or recently diagnosed developmental delay or disability are encouraged to contact Amanda on 02 44480200 with enquiries regarding the service.


It was noted that Early Links is delivered by the South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation for Aboriginal children from birth to 8 years.  Ability Links, for age 9 to 64 years, works closely with people with a disability, their family and carers.  More information can be found on the website http://www.abilitylinksnsw.org.au/index.html and enquiries can be directed to linkers@sothcoastams.org.au or phone 02 4448 0200.






There being no further business, the meeting concluded, the time being 5.27pm.



Clr White