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Parent Power Over The Years

Ever wonder what the Turner Scout Hall looked like a few years ago? And what magical things happen at working bees each year?

The hall has been transformed over the years by the input and vision of the committee and parents. We’ve had ACT government grant help a few times as well to purchase capital items so we can deploy our amazing teams of parents to put in the work to make these improvements.

When we first arrived at the Turner Scout Hall in 2008, we faced draughty single pane louvre windows, ancient electric heating that didn’t heat the hall properly, the kitchen was falling apart, there was graffiti all over the exterior, there was no playground, no fence, two toilets, two sinks, two and a half tonnes of rubbish to be taken to the tip….

Over the years, we have painted inside and out, installed a fenced fully equipped outdoor playground and shade sail, solar panels, triple glazed windows, a new kitchen, two new toilets, four children’s sinks, refinished the beautiful wooden floors (twice), new tiling, new carpet, revamped the cloakroom completely, added a new storage shed, improved drainage, and more.

It is fun to look back at the old photos and see that quite a number of the children in the photo above joined us at Pfadfinder, and some are still with us a decade later as some of our oldest Venturer scouts!

Here is the same corner of the hall as in the photo at the top.
This above was the cloakroom back in 2009. And even this was a big improvement on what it was like when we first arrived in 2008.
Here is that same cloakroom ten years later., largely thanks to the vision and design work of Horst Punzmann.
Our original tables and chairs were donated by other preschools and playschools. This was the state of our walls, floors, doors, divider curtain and equipment in 2009.
Twelve years later, hours and hours of painting walls and doors, sanding and varnishing floors (thanks Levin and Salim), and other improvements are helping us look a lot better.

To get an idea of how dedicated our parent group is, and what the Scout Hall looked like when we first arrived in 2008, check out these amazing photos of some of the things our volunteers have achieved, transforming our hall into a licensed children’s services venue, from 2008 to 2010.  And it just keeps getting better!

Spielwelt’s covid-19 response

The ABC news live COVID-19 coverage each day is a great place to keep up to date with the latest news in this rapidly changing and developing situation.

Spielwelt has decided not to wait for ACT schools to close. We are taking action earlier as a precaution, especially given the knowledge of what our extended families in Germany are experiencing already.

For Spielwelt the situation is as follows:

1. Schlaumaeuse put its sessions on hold until further notice, from 6pm on Wed 17 March 2020.

2. Pfadfinder ceased meeting face to face from Wed 17 March, and will carry on online.

3. Spiel und Spass ceased meeting until further notice, from Sun 22 March. 

4. The German Australian Playschool held its last session on Mon 23 March, and will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. Teachers will prepare regular emails for families and include activities, songs, ideas and tips (and hopefully even videos) to help families offer GAP-at-home for their children.


Have written separately to all our groups to let them know about the refund policy and how it applies to them, and exactly how any childcare subsidy is likely to be affected.

All our groups aim to re-open later in 2020, when the COVID-19 situation has resolved to the point where bans and distancing measures have been lifted and the health risks are greatly reduced.

Stay healthy and sing along, everyone:  Haende waschen, Haende waschen (even if your towel is gone, like in the song!)

German Immersion Primary School update

Help the German Immersion Program Parents & Friends by completing their latest survey.

The German Immersion Program Parents & Friends (GIPPF) have been very busy with their initiative: researching and working towards the establishment and implementation of a German Language and Culture Program in a new public primary school when it opens in 2021, comprising of a German Immersion Program, German language program for the mainstream students, and German cultural events to be celebrated school-wide.

The GIPPF has consulted with the ACT Education Directorate on how to implement this initiative and have developed a strong business proposal. Furthermore, they have received letters of support from key players in bilingual education and German language in Australia.

In August, they are meeting with the Swiss Ambassador and the Cultural Attaché of the German embassy who have expressed an interest in the initiative. They are visiting the German International School Sydney and Froebel Australia, and will be presenting the initiative at the ACT German Mini-conference.

The decision however ultimately lies with the ACT Minister for Education  and Early Childhood Development, Yvette Berry MLA. 

As there is no public primary school in the ACT offering a German language program, this is an important initiative for the German-speaking community to support.

Please help by completing the latest survey.

Keen to be kept informed or help establish the program? Email Brigitta at german.primary@spielwelt.org.au


German Social Groups in Canberra

Did you know there are heaps of great social groups for German speakers of all ages here in Canberra?
The Stammtisch meets once a month at Tilley’s.  Tag-along children are welcome, too.  Stammtisch is also on Facebook.
There is a German Book Club which meets in its members’ homes, usually with a glass of wine to accompany good discussion about books.
There are also German, Austrian and Swiss clubs and choirs.
There are local German radio broadcasts on CMS 91.1FM, on Mondays 6-8pm (Swiss German) and Tuesdays 8-10pm (German). They welcome people calling in or coming on the show to chat.
And have a look at the Spielwelt webpage and look under About >> German in Canberra. for info about other groups, classes and more.
Das Zentrum in Civic screens German films, offers a German library, classes, have social conversation groups, and more.
For German-speaking kids, there is of course:

To keep up with German kids and family events in Canberra, like the lantern walk, Oktoberfest, Federweisserfest, Karneval, like or follow the Spielwelt facebook page.

The Pfadfinder scout group welcomes new scout leaders or German speaking guest speakers who want to tell us about things they are passionate about or what they do for work. We can even visit you at work and hear about what you do.
If you like working with children, feel free to add yourself to (or use) our German babysitters and tutors list.
For ladies only, there is the Deutsche Damen Dinner which meets each month in Kingston or Lyneham, depending on the season.   
Viel Spass!

Enjoying our new taps and sinks

Over the summer holidays, Paul from JimFin Gas Fitting & Plumbing was very busy installing all sorts of treats for us.

We are now enjoying a new junior toilet in the girls washroom, and double children’s sinks in both washrooms.

Paul visited us today to put on the finishing touches we requested, by installing another two sets of his most heavenly child-friendly quarter-turn taps.

Being the friendly guy that he is, he also  fixed a leaking tap, gave us a lesson on washers, checked we had safe water temperatures for children, and replaced the covers for our water meter and mains tap which were broken and hazardous.

This all helps us look after our water consumption, and be the clean green community organisation we strive to be.

Pfadfinder welcome German exchange students

Pfadfinder had the pleasure of welcoming 21 German exchange students to Canberra on Monday.  They are here on exchange for a week with Canberra Girls Grammar school, before moving on to a school in NSW.

Pfadfinder held up our Welcome to Australia banner outside the scout hall when the students’ bus arrived.  Inside the hall, the students could refresh themselves and store their luggage, while they waited for their host families to pick them up.

Our Pfadfinder welcomed the students and talked to them (in English und auf Deutsch, natuerlich) about what it is like to live in Canberra, and heard about what the students planned to do while in Australia and a little about their lives back in Germany.

Of course, we served a few traditional Australian treats:  Tim Tams, Arnott’s Tiny Teddies and iced Vovos, lamingtons, mango and apple juice, Milo, and slices of watermelon.

Some students had a go flying our drone, which was fun.

It was a pleasure to meet the students and their teachers, and we hope they enjoy being German in Canberra as much as we do!

 

Kittens in Kinder

As part of Spielwelt’s community giving program, the Monday / Tuesday GAP class are collecting donations and crafting toys for Canberra Pet Rescue.

On Tuesday, we had a totally engaging visit from three Canberra Pet Rescue volunteers who talked with us about caring for kittens and shared some interesting facts about kittens.

Best of all, they brought along four sweet and charming kittens, who entertained us all enormously with their antics, playing with the pompoms we had been busy making for them.

The children were thrilled to be able to play with the curious kittens. Thanks to the volunteers from Canberra Pet Rescue for bringing them in and educating us!