Category Archives: GAP


Job Vacancies at the German Australian Playschool (GAP) in Turner, ACT! 

The GAP offers a fantastic program for 3-5 year olds in German in a loving , safe and caring environment.  

Playschools are wonderful community-led not-for-profit organisations, where staff, children and families feel welcome, supported and included. Come join our community, and feel the love!  

We are looking for

  1. Director
  2. German-speaking Educator (Diploma or above)
  3. Administration and Enrolments Officer

The roles could be combined by the right candidate. 

Playschool Director

If you love working with children and families, and supporting educators – with some office work and some in-room education with the children – and you have a sunny disposition, you’ll love this role. 

2-4 days/week (depending on the candidate) with some flexibility to work from home.

This is a CSE Level 6 role, requiring a Diploma or Degree qualification in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or Children’s Services, Sozialpädagogik, or similar.

German speaker preferred, but all candidates considered. 

German-speaking Educator (Diploma or above)

If you enjoy working with children with love and care, heart and soul, and want a whole lot less paperwork than big childcare centres require (and therefore more time to dedicate quality time to the children), Playschools are for you! 

2 days/week: Mondays and Tuesdays, 9:05am to 3:45pm

You will be working in a small team of dedicated professionals. We have three educators and 22 delightful children in our class who will fill your heart with joy every day. 

This is a CSE level 3 or 4 role, as you’ll be working as an assistant teacher or teacher in the Playschool class. 

Impress us with an inspiring session delivered at our morning circle (as part of your interview process).

You must hold a Diploma or Degree qualification in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or Children’s services, Sozialpädagogik, or similar.

Ideally, you have prior children’s services or early childhood teaching experience.

Your spoken German should be fluent enough to work with children and families. 

Administration and Enrolments Officer

We would love to welcome an experienced administration officer to our team, to support our teachers, handle our Playschool administration and look after enrolments. 

You’ll work closely with our delightful and amazing bookkeeper, and our awesome committee president. 

No prior children’s services experience or qualifications are necessary, but previous administration experience is necessary. You’ll be the sunshine of our organisation, welcoming new families and helping them join our community. 

The job is 13 hours per week, ideally Mondays and Tuesdays but options are open; and some work from home will be possible. 

No need to speak German for this role, but bonus points if you know a few fun German words!  

What we offer: 

  • Great work-life balance with hours from 9:05am to 3:45pm for 48 weeks per year, during ACT school terms and limited days during school term breaks. 
  • Spielwelt pays above Award rates and is an exceptionally supportive employer.
  • For the Director / Teacher / Educator role:  A uniform and laundry allowance is provided.
  • You get all the regulated entitlements such as Superannuation 10.5%, Long Service Leave, 17.5% Annual Leave Loading, and Personal/Carers Leave. 
  • Free onsite parking.
  • We are a non-toxic, environmentally friendly, sun smart, healthy-habits playschool, where children and staff enjoy their activities and experience joy in learning.

The minimum requirements:

  • Have or be eligible for a Working with Vulnerable People Card
  • Have a valid work permit, Permanent Residency or Australian Citizenship

If you would like to be part of our wonderful team, please send all enquiries and CVs to Lisa on or call us on 0422 525 646

A-Z of Spielwelt in 2022

Herzliche Grüße liebe Spielwelter und Spielwelterinnen,

Mensch, it has been a very busy year for Spielwelt! Thank you to everyone who contributed in ways both large and small, it is your efforts that make our wonderful organisation possible.

To celebrate 2022, we have collated a bit of an A-Z of Spielwelt below.

A is for Administration, and all the people who make sure the website operates, the emails get sent and the invoices get paid. Particular thanks to Margie, our amazing bookkeeper and administrator extraordinaire, who is always cheerful and willing to help on matters small and large.

B is for Budget. As a not-for-profit organisation, we take financial responsibility very seriously. The committee had to make some hard decisions this year, but we have achieved a broadly balanced budget for the year and made sure that we remain in a strong position for years to come. Particular thanks to Salim, who is stepping down after a number of years of service as Finance Adviser (2020-2022), and before that Public Officer (2017-2018).

C is for Committee. The Committee has contributed a lot this year, including a number of extra meetings after Lisa’s resignation. They also put up with me being in a different time zone (there may have been more than one occasion where I would have been an hour late, were it not for prompts!). I am very grateful to the whole committee (Christiane, Emily, Janne, Jensen, Lisa, Minh-Tam and Salim). Particular thanks to Salim (see B above) and Emily, who is stepping down after two years as our Keen to Be Green / Enrolment Secretary.

D is for the Delightful Story Night, where the Pfadfinder put on a fantastic evening’s entertainment for Spielwelt families. There are some graduating GAP children who are now very excited about getting to join Pfadfinder and join the concert in years to come!

E is for End-of-Year Concert, where GAP children showcased some of the songs they have been learning at playschool, to rapturous applause. Of course, they finished with the ever-popular Tschu Tschu Wa!

F is for Federweißer. Particular thanks to our special events coordinators Gerda, Gerald, Christian and Uli for organising all of our events this year, and Alex from Collector Wines (and Pfadfinder Papa) for making the delicious Federweißer.

G is for GAP (ist meine Schule), where children’s dreams come true.

H is for Haig Park, the lovely park where the Turner Scout Hall is located. It is such a great location to practice setting up Pfadfinder tents, and little excursions for Spiel und Spaß and GAP, including to the Nature Playground. 

I is for Interesting Books, which you will find in the Spielwelt Library. We have an extensive collection of German language children’s books available for all ages and skill levels, as well as books on raising multilingual children. Particular thanks to Martine for keeping the Library ordentlich and updated!

J is for Janitors, our wonderful cleaning staff who keep the place spick-and-span and COVID safe.  

K is for Katrin, who took over as GAP Director from May to December. She did a great job over this time, hiring new staff, learning the ropes, keeping our children’s services licence up to date, stepping in to cover when teachers were absent, and even representing GAP on ABC Canberra!

L is for Lisa S, who stepped down as GAP Director, after 15 years helping to build up Spielwelt to what it is today. She has been incredibly helpful throughout the transition to a new director. We are very grateful to still have her wisdom and guidance on the Committee, as well as for continuing to be Tschil / chill at Pfadfinder throughout.

M is for Martinstag (in June!). A particular shout-out to the recipients of Presidential Certificates of Awesomeness after the night (the Pfadfinder Cubs, for their inspirational play, and Richard K, for his finesse at perfectly frying Würstchen and commitment to clean BBQs).

N is for Nikolaus, who again graced GAP, Spiel und Spass and Pfadfinder with his presence and presents! Special thanks to Jens and Andi for assuming the Mantel this year. 

O is for Oktoberfest (in November!), when Spielwelt families were transported straight to München thanks to the wonderful live brass band, delicious German foods, tasty home-brewed beer and the sounds of children running around happily while the adults chatted away. 

P is for Pfadfinder, where (slightly older) children’s dreams come true. Special thanks to our leaders (Alice, Jens, Lisa, Melanie, Stephanie, Struppi, Swantje and Wolfgang), and all of the Adult Helpers (Andi, Byrd Esther, Hanna, Ivo and Tatjana) who make this such a great program. 

Q is for Quatsch😎

R is for Renovations:This year the eastern mural was completed, the sandbox renovated, new colourful carpets were purchased for the eastern foyer and a new bench installed for the comfort of those waiting outside.

S is for Spielgruppen: Spiel und Spaß / Spiel und Spannung / Schlaumäuse, where (slightly younger) childrens’ dreams come true. Particular thanks to Seyhan, Meike, Doris and Stephanie for all of their contributions to these fun groups over the year. Play and socialising is such an important part of children’s development – and adults’ too! 

T is for Teachers. Our GAP Teachers have gone well and truly above and beyond this year, managing despite staff shortages and sickness. Special thanks to our teachers, Gerda, Lisa (Third of Her Name) and Toby, and our casual staff and volunteers, Barbara, Cristina, Eli, Friederike, Jasmine, Nic and Ulrike.

U is for Used Clothes. This year we organised two very successful used clothes exchanges. Look out for the next editions in 2023, in the two weeks leading up to Lantern Walk (in June) and Oktoberfest (in November).

V is for Volunteers, without whom Spielwelt wouldn’t exist. We celebrated this year over 3000 volunteer hours put in since 2008 to improve the Scout Hall. We really appreciate all of your contributions, whether you bring delicious food to one of our events, help maintain the library, get sweaty at the working bees, keep the hall maintained or wash towels. The Committee this year also awarded Life Membership to those volunteers who have gone above and beyond over a significant number of years. Congratulations and thanks to Christian, Gerald, Gerda, Jens, Lisa, Stephanie, Steven and Uli. We welcome further suggestions of those deserving of this recognition!

W is for Wandel des Klimas. The voices of Spielwelt children and young people were heard as part of Spielwelt’s submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communication, for the Climate Change Bill 2022.

X is for eXcursions, which eXtended our children’s horizons as they eXcitedly eXplored the National Portrait Gallery and the Arboretum.

Y is for Yummy Mangoes, with over 100 trays sold, $648 raised and many tummies filled with sweet yellow deliciousness! 

Z is for Zweitausend Dreiundzwanzig! We can’t wait to have more fun with you all next year, whatever comes our way!

Macht’s gut zusammen!

Spielwelt celebrates Nikolaus in 2022

Lustig, lustig, tralalalala!

An article from our President Tobias.

December is an exciting time when you are a child, what with end-of-year celebrations, long summer days and, of course, the promise of Christmas presents. But the children at Spielwelt are doubly lucky, because they can expect a visit from not just one, but two jolly men this season!

Spielwelt, which runs German-speaking playgroups, the German Australian Playschool and a German-speaking Scouts group, commemorates every year the good St Nikolaus. Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other German-speaking communities traditionally celebrate the feast of St Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, on the 6th December. But in Canberra, Spielwelt celebrates with delicious Plätzchen (biscuits), Lieder (carols) and a visit from the good Saint himself throughout the week, to make sure no-one misses out.

The hot Canberra summer is a sudden shock from the depths of a European winter for Nikolaus, and to make things worse he doesn’t speak a word of English. But luckily he has landed at the scout hall in Turner, where the fun bilingual programs teach his native tongue to children raised with English and German alike. The children make Nikolaus – complete with bishop’s mitre, cloak and staff – feel immediately at home by singing Lasst uns froh und munter sein (Let us be happy and cheerful), which tells of the upcoming celebration of Nikolaus.

Santa Claus and St Nikolaus share a similar cultural heritage: indeed, the name Santa Claus comes from the Dutch word for St Nicholas, Sinterklaas. It is no surprise then, that Nikolaus brings presents for children who have been good this year. Luckily, all of the Spielwelt children – and their teachers too – have their names written in Nikolaus’ Golden Book this year!

Before they receive their present, the children proudly show off what they have mastered that year. They sing loudly, run quickly, read German poems or dance. Sometimes, Nikolaus shows off what he can do too! He then rewards the proud children with a mandarin and a chocolate.

After a photo and a final song, the good Saint with his bishop’s mitre and staff bids farewell to the children for another year. But there is still one more surprise in store! When they check their shoes, dutifully left by the front door, they find a little chocolate coin left in each pair of shoes.

The Spielwelt German Parents Association runs a variety of fun and supportive programs to develop German language skills for children and young people aged 0 to 26. It also builds a strong community that celebrates the cultures of German-speaking countries. It welcomes children, young people and their families with all levels of German language ability. The programs are centred around the Scout Hall in Haig Park, Turner, and include:

  • Spiel und Spass (Play and Fun), a playgroup for children aged 0-5 and their families that meets 9:30-11:30am every Wednesday.
  • German Australian Playschool, which offers a play-based educational program for children aged 3-5 during school hours. There is a German immersion class on Mondays and Tuesdays, and a bilingual class on Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Pfadfinder, a Scout group for children aged 6-26. The Pfadfinder meet on Monday nights (for young people in high school and above) or Tuesday nights (for primary school aged children), between 6-7:30pm.

“We are welcoming enrolments for 2023 and beyond, and cater for children who are fluent speakers and those who are learning German as a second or third language”, says Spielwelt Committee President Tobias Beckmann.

Nikolaus will visit Spielwelt programs on Tuesday 6 December, Wednesday 7 December and Friday 9 December. The German Australian Playschool is currently taking enrolments for 2023 and beyond; and Spiel und Spass and Pfadfinder always welcome new friends. For more information, see, or contact the Director, Katrin, on

National Portrait Gallery Excursions

Last week, both of our GAP classes embarked on a very exciting and fun excursion to the National Portrait Gallery. After the children had been dropped off by their parents, we enjoyed our morning tea out in the sunshine and our picnic rug provided a good spot to fuel our energy for the upcoming 1-hour tour through the National Portrait Gallery.

In the foyer, the children were warmly greeted by Kate and her team, before the class was split into two groups. The educational program was tailored to children aged 3-5 years and offered lots of information about the selected portraits in a fun, engaging and interactive way which our little students enjoyed a lot.

The children especially enjoyed drawing and crafting their own art pieces. For instance, the groups got very creative when it came to designing their own crowns or when ‘decorating’ their pop-up bedrooms.

After the excursion the classes had some time to play around and to let the impressions settle in, before we made our way back to GAP by bus.

The bus ride got the children all excited which might have been the main highlight of the excursion.

All in all, everyone had a fantastic time at the National Portrait Gallery.

Special thanks to our Teachers, but also to our parent volunteers, as without their support and dedication this excursion wouldn’t have taken place. Also, thank you to Kate and her team at the NPG.

Our young people get active in democracy

The Spielwelt committee recently supported some of our children and young people to have their voices heard in Parliament.

Children as young as four and up to 19 years old from GAP and Pfadfinder contributed to a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications.

The senate committee is considering the Climate Change Bill 2022, and we wanted the children’s voices to be heard.

Here’s the text of Spielwelt’s submission:

Spielwelt welcomes the opportunity to contribute the voices of our children to the Senate Environment and Committee’s inquiry into the Climate Change Bill 2022.  We are heartened by the new government’s willingness to look properly at addressing climate change. 

As parents, teachers and leaders, we are deeply troubled by the latest IPCC report and news reports about the devastating global climate crisis. In particular, we hold grave concerns for our children’s future. 

The children are also rightfully anxious. Some are frustrated, desperate, depressed or angry. Some want to help but feel helpless. Here follows some comments made by children aged between 4 and 19 years enrolled in our programs, for your kind consideration.

“We are too young to vote so we are relying on you with our lives to do the right thing. We urge you to please take the boldest possible action on climate change that you can. Our very lives depend on your decision. Literally.

“I want to grow up in a nice world. I don’t want to fight for water or food, fight fires or droughts, lose my friends in heat waves, eat poisoned fish or be choked in smoke. Please aim for the absolute best possible standards that you can and make laws and get an environment police to enforce them.”

Please listen hard to the scientists and do your best to just do what they say. Please don’t let climate action be confused for a political issue or a money issue.“

“I want my Australia to be a leader, not bludging off other countries’ efforts.  Please take responsibility and do the right thing.”

“I think people should stop being allowed to mine and use fossil fuels. Australia should behave properly and not pollute by mining and using fossil fuels.”

“I would like to see more renewable energy everywhere with solar on every rooftop and solar farms.”

“Please move Australia from the bottom to the top in research for renewable energy. I would like to work in a world leading industry (renewable energy) in Australia when I grow up.” 

“I would like to get a great ATAR and study at university. My mind churns on whether it is worthwhile studying if my home is going to burn down and my water supply will dry up. My school time is sometimes taken up attending school strike climate rallies. Please help us by being strong. Set strong bold targets and police them so we have a chance to survive.”

“Remember that with every passing minute, natural environments like the Great Barrier Reef and bushland are deteriorating, causing endangerment to our beautiful Australian wildlife. Please protect our unique ecosystems by ensuring net ZERO carbon emissions as soon as possible.” 

“Please don’t forget that there can not be climate justice without justice for the First Nations people of Australia. Please ask them to help us make decisions that are right for their land and our people.”

“Invest in more sustainability research. Invest in making and doing green and clever science and technology that will help slow and stop climate change.”

“Everyone is being impacted by climate change and you are the only people with enough power to actually do anything serious about it, so what are you waiting for?” 

Finally, our youngest contributor is four years old. He asks, “Are you going to save the environment for us?”  After a pause, he adds thoughtfully, “Can I help you?

We support the Schools Strike 4 Climate’s priorities, wanting:

  1. Net zero by 2030 which means no new coal, oil or gas projects including the Adani mine
  2. 100% renewable energy generations and exports by 2030
  3. Fund a just transition and job creation for all fossil-fuel workers and their communities

We urge the government to stick closely to the IPCC recommendations, remembering this is far more than economic or political: this is existential. Nothing is more important. Nothing. 

Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration.

Two later contributions from Venturer scouts missed our cut-off time but are worth transcribing here:

“I feel the government [policymakers] would care more if they would actually be alive when heat waves, bush fires, storms, floods, droughts and food shortages make living the Australian dream impossible. They worry if things like the economy, their power and personal gain are actually under threat, while we [young people] worry whether we should have our own children knowing what the future will be like.”

“While passing this environmental bill is a guarantee of some action on climate change, the focus should be on actual investments in sustainable infrastructure and a reduction in consumption and production of unsustainable products.”

We are proud of our young people for standing up and contributing to this democratic process on such an important issue. You can see all the other submissions to the senate committee here (Spielwelt’s is #164).

What’s happening at GAP in Term 3

This term our lovely Teaching Team has lined up great incursions for our Mon/Tue and Thu/Fri classes, including fabulous music lessons with our wonderful educator Michelle, who specifically designs the lessons for children aged 3-5 years.

Furthermore, we had our lovely Anke Maria from the Ginninderra Catchment Group visit the GAP. As part of their highly engaging educational program ‘FrogWatch’, Anke Maria captivated the young audience by telling stories about the frogs’ habitat and development whilst also offering plenty of hands-on activities which the children thoroughly enjoyed.

Thank you Anke Maria for your visit and the fun that you brought to GAP.  

Turner Scout Hall Playground Update 2.0

In addition to our playground make-over which took place in February this year, the Turner Scout Hall has recently seen a transformation of the sandpit, which has been a complete redesign of the existing one, very much to the children’s delight.

Children and teachers were involved in the design last year, testing out different configurations using boxes and wooden planks as a mock-up to see what they liked best and what worked well.

Many thanks to the talented carpenter and early educator Aaron Knudsen from Pallet Play for this amazing and delightful addition to our outdoor space. The sandpit now functions as a modern outdoor kitchen with heaps of counter top space for children to cook and bake delicious “Pizza”, “Sandkuchen” and serve up tasty “Cappuccinos”.

In addition to its functionality of keeping the sand more contained now, the sandbox also hosts a range of dinosaur fossils which are keenly excavated by our young explorers. This beautiful play area makes our outdoor space an even more fun and engaging place which the children truly appreciate.

Lantern Walk 2022 – Plan Your Visit

The Turner Scout Hall and surrounding Haig Park will come alive with bobbing lanterns, excited children, traditional lantern walk songs, families socialising and delicious food on Saturday 18 June 2022, from 4:30pm to 6:30pm.

Bring cash for food and drinks: $5.00 per German sausage; $3.00 for a baked potato; $2.00 for each mug of Gluehwein, Kinderpunsch or soup; and gold coin donations for each serving of the other delicious foods. Water is free. (Participants are encouraged to bring a plate of finger-foods to contribute to the tables. Members: see the volunteer sign up list.)

Dress warmly and wear footwear suitable for walking on wet grass.

Covid safety rules apply: Stay home if you are unwell. Distancing of 1.5m between different families at the event.

The order of events are:

4:30pm Arrive, socialise, browse the children’s clothing swap table. Food tables and BBQs begin to serve.

5:00pm MC gives official welcome while folk enjoy food, drink and each other’s company.

5:25pm All gather to sing lantern walk songs, as food tables and BBQs start packing up.

5:45pm The parade commences.

5:55pm Parade forms a circle amongst the trees; young children’s parade inside the protective circle of adults.

6:10pm When the children’s parade finishes, adults should STAY IN THEIR CIRCLE FORMATION until we have reunited all children with their parents.

6:15pm Parade arrives back at the scout hall and assembles at the stage (behind the scout hall) to watch the Scouts’ play about Sankt Martin (who is associated with the lantern walk in Germany).

6:30pm Pack up and head home. If everyone tidies up at least three items, the job will soon be done.

6:30-8:30pm For those people with older children who want to stay on for the “after party” (and help with the clean up) we will keep our little bonfire going.

Read more about the lantern walk event here!

Over 3000 Volunteer Hours

Pfadfinder Scout Group will be presenting a special Certificate of Appreciation to the parents and families of Spielwelt this week.

Since 2008, Spielwelt parents have contributed over 3000 hours of volunteer work to improve the Turner Scout Hall, and the number of hours keeps growing.

The hours include time spent planning, fundraising, managing capital works projects, and attending annual working bees to perform routine maintenance and contribute to major improvements.

Spielwelt and Pfadfinder enjoy a close relationship, with each helping the other to create a wonderful experience in our programs and a safe and friendly space at the Turner Scout Hall for all our children and their families.

Danke schoen!

Turner Scout Hall playground mural

The children returned to their programs to see that their playground had been completely transformed by the addition of a beautiful mural.

Many thanks to Byrd & Hoon for this amazing and delightful addition to our hall. The Fachwerkhaus theme (from the west and south sides of the building) now carries on into the playground side… with the addition of ivy and a lot of birds and tiny critters.

The birds all feature in popular German children’s songs and rhymes. It is a lot of fun to try to find them all hiding in the ivy.

Our shed has been transformed into a barn.

There is a rainbow pan pipe which makes different sounds when you tap on the holes at the bottom. Out of the pan pipe, float a few magical mirror bubbles. The lower-level mirror bubbles are big enough for children to see themselves (especially helpful when rubbing in their sunscreen).

There is also, of course, der kleine Onkel (the horse from Pippi Langstrumpf), who looks like he lives in the scout hall!

The playground is an especially beautiful space to play in now.

This wonderful mural is the work of local muralists and artists, Byrd and Hanna Hoyne. We are very grateful to them for really transforming the building for us all.

It looks like one of our groups who hire the hall, All Round Good Hounds, also heartily approve of the new look for the hall…