Size Matters

In making a family literacy program accessible and inclusive for all Western Australians, geographical constraints offer enormous challenges.  Western Australia is unique in not only the area it covers, but also in the spread of our population over the entire state.

Australia and the United States - Visual Comparison

  • Western Australia covers more than 2.5 million square kilometres (965,000 square miles) - the combined size of Alaska and Texas - with a population of 2.5 million people

 
  • The State is divided into 138 local governments with over 100 of these being in regional and remote Western Australia. 

  • The largest of these local governments, East Pilbara, covers 378,571 square kilometres (146,167 square miles) - roughly the size of California or Japan, and with a population of just 8,000 people

It may be hard to imagine providing resources and supporting networks across an area 13 times the size of the state of Washington (and with four times the population), but Better Beginnings is working with 100% of Western Australian local governments and has delivered nearly 200,000 reading packs to date.

I always knew reading to my kids was important, but this has opened my eyes to how important and how much.
Parent
 

I tell stories in Vietnamese and read to my children in English.  I only started reading English after receiving Better Beginnings. 
Parent
 

One mother reads with her four year old every afternoon after school now.  She said without these books, they would not have any to read. 
Teacher, Remote Community School
 

I always knew reading to my kids was important, but this has opened my eyes to how important and how much.
Parent

I think it’s been a wonderful initiative.  I feel sure it’s going to benefit both the children and parents and develop links with the library.
Teacher
 

 

It’s wonderful to have support across the community emphasising the importance of reading and language development. 
Community Health Nurse
 

…I never thought of reading to my baby.  Better Beginnings has really boosted my confidence.
Parent

Better Beginnings gave me confidence. I know reading is an everyday tool and teaching my children will help them be more successful in life.
Parent