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!