Ellen Stirling Primary School embraces philosophies of The Fathering Project


Pictures: David Baylis
Pictures: David Baylis

STUDENTS from Ellen Stirling Primary School left the classroom and got crafty with dads and male teachers at Bunnings Ellenbrook last week.

The excursion was arranged with help of UWA, who is working alongside the primary school to administer The Fathering Project initiative.

Through the program, the school encourages fathers to get together for informal catch-ups and formal events with their kids.

About 40 men were present at the event, a lot of which are young dads or FIFO workers who need a helping hand to connect with their children.

Associate principal Matthew Pinkard said the idea was to build a support network for fathers while teaching them how to be positive influences in their children’s lives.

“The night went perfectly with male role models spending quality time with their children while building their very own jelly bean dispensers,” he said.

“Being the first group of this type in Ellenbrook, we continue to lead by example as a school that positively engages with parents, students and the broader school community.”

Swan Hills MLA Frank Alban also attended the event, helping to cook the barbecue.

“We live in a busy and complex world,” Mr Alban said.

“Home mortgages or rents together with the daily cost of raising a family is a generational burden that all parents have to bear.

“Dads are away a lot and a considerable pressure is placed on this modern family lifestyle, especially the dads.

“This is particularly true in Ellenbrook where a great proportion of our dads are FIFO workers, which is a more recent phenomenon.”

Mr Alban praised Ellen Stirling Primary School for its initiative.

“Congratulations to this school for extending their educational support to supporting the parents and students in their family life,” he said.

“A glowing example of a modern adaption of education within our community environment.

“What commitment by our teachers!”

The next event at the primary school is planned for term three and will include mums and female role models as well.