A line of smiling young children post with colourful balls atop artificial turf.

Published on 03 November 2022

Award win for play program

The Participate and Learn Skills (PALS) program at Christie Downs Community House has won the Play Award in the 2022 Children’s Week Awards.

The PALS program teaches primary school kids a range of life skills through play. The aim of the program is to build confidence, make new friends and gain new skills. It is funded by City of Onkaparinga and the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.

The program has been running for over a decade, is run by qualified staff and is tailored for kids’ unique needs. It offers a wide range of activities including games, sports, cooking, craft and technology.

Community Development Officer Allison Emerson explained how important the PALS program is to the local community of Christie Downs.

“Our program is used by many families who have children with additional needs, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Some have experienced trauma or need assistance to develop their personal skills,” said Allison.

“We teach things such as anger management, sharing, making friends, conflict resolution, all of which are vital for the children to be able to meet their full potential.

“The PALS program accommodates a maximum of 15 children per session with four staff, allowing dedicated time to support children and to guide them through emotions with the aim of building the skills they need to self-regulate.”

Sharon Jolly, Chairperson of Christie Downs Community House added, “We are really excited that our program has won the Play Award in this year’s Children’s Week Awards, it’s wonderful to receive this recognition.”

The Children’s Week Awards celebrate outstanding contributions to the needs, interests and welfare of children. The 2022 Play Award recognises a significant contribution to the development of children’s play by an individual, group or an organization.

The awards were presented on Tuesday 1 November at Government House.

Christie Downs Community House is an independently managed community house committed to providing a welcoming, safe and inclusive place where people have an opportunity to improve wellbeing and develop friendship and relationships.

PALS programs are delivered across City of Onkaparinga community centres, including Christie Downs, Hackham West, Seaford and Aldinga.

For more information on the PALS Program email the PALS Team Leader or phone 8384 6894.

Christie Downs Community House offers social, recreational and educational activities to support personal growth.