Pam Gunn Memorial Axedale Trust

By Pam Gunn Memorial Axedale Trust

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  • The Pam Gunn Story
  • Pam was a local Axedale resident who faced significant adversity in childhood. Pam was born into a household that became dislocated when her mother suffered mental health issues as a result of illness. She was fostered out and missed normal privileges of primary education such as uniforms and camps. In adult life she set out to ensure that children did not experience these shortcomings. Pam passed away in 2007 at the young age of 44 after a long battle with breast cancer. Initiated by her family, and facilitated by Axedale Branch of Country Women’s Association of Victoria, the trust was established to honour her memory and to continue her work.
  • Kick start To kick start the program, 4 key objectives were achieved: • The Axedale Primary School Principal was asked to make an analysis of children’s needs. • A program of activities was developed based on findings from the Principal’s report and analysis. • A working group was established to oversee the activities and ensure projects were on track and delivered. • Procedures were put in place to ensure funds were managed in an accountable and ethical manner.
  • The need During 2014 the Principal of the Axedale Primary School prepared an analysis of children’s needs based on his intimate knowledge of the school children and on figures furnished to him by the kindergarten director. This showed numbers in need of relationship and emotional support, of psychologist or psychiatry service, of speech therapist services, of special education support, family nutrition support, parenting support.
  • Early Intervention Research establishes that disadvantage of any type suffered by young children is likely, if there is no remedial intervention, to affect how those children act as adults, in some cases even developing anti-social conduct.
  • Outcomes of the Program • To build stronger networks within the community to better support families facing adversity • To provide opportunities to identified families with a range of early intervention support for children requiring additional support • To document key lessons learnt so the Axedale community can build resilience and continue to solve local challenges in a sustainable way.
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Hector Bathurst OAM

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