Sunshine Coast, Queensland

About the community

The Sunshine Coast community is located in south-east Queensland, and is a popular tourist destination  well known for its beaches, subtropical forests and freshwater rivers and lakes. It is situated about 100 kilometres north of Brisbane, with a rapidly increasing population of approximately 280,000. 

Sunshine Coast and the Let's Read program

The Let’s Read program is being implemented across the Sunshine Coast, from Caloundra through to Noosa and in the hinterland.

Let’s Read has developed collaborative relationships with key community stakeholders, including local community and neighbourhood centres, libraries, kindergarten and transition to school programs, and Queensland Health. These agencies provide services which include family support programs, playgroups, occasional care services, parenting workshops, counselling and a range of community programs.

Feedback provided from community providers to date includes that they see the Let’s Read program as a meaningful way to add value to the services and supports they also provide to families.

Community stories

Nambour Together




On Saturday August 29th 2015, Lets Read Sunshine Coast participated in a community celebration, “Nambour Together,” which highlighted the best of local services, art, entertainment and hospitality. The event was held at Quota Park in Nambour, with local service providers collaborating to organise the day with a shared vision of working together to support the local community. Let’s Read linked with the Nambour Community Centre Family Support Program to provide a space for families in the Children’s Area, which included face painting, craft, playdough, a chill out-zone and a Let’s Read reading space. The day provided an opportunity to engage and collaborate with both families and partner services, and promote emergent literacy development for children from birth to 5 years. Let’s Read provided a stall for families which included information on emergent literacy, puppets for the children to explore, a range of stories for reading and storytelling, craft activity, a Let’s Read bookworm, and a box of giveaway books.

The main benefits:

The key messages of Let’s Read were shared with other organisations and community groups, raising awareness of the program and increasing their knowledge of early literacy development. Information was provided to a range of local community members, including those working or studying in early childhood related fields (family day care, child care, and kindergartens), foster carers, respite workers, social workers and those working within a range of government programs. This provided opportunities to increase capacity of others to engage families to foster their children’s literacy development, via a strength-based framework.

Within the Let’s Read space, families were able to engage with emergent literacy development messages and resources in a meaningful way. Children and their parents explored the Let’s Read resources in a relaxed environment, with a range of material including Big books, board books, textured and sensory based books, dual language stories, non-fiction and Indigenous resources. Children were able to participate in group storytelling, independent reading opportunities and one on one focused reading sessions. This also provided an important opportunity for Let’s Read staff to model best practice reading with children. By utilising a strength based framework to support families, Let’s Read aimed to increase the capacity of families to foster their children’s literacy development. Discussions with families around emergent literacy included parents sharing their own experiences being read to (or not read to) as a child, modelling different reading strategies and tips, discussing the benefits of reading to children from a young age, advice on what to look for when selecting books for different age groups, and ideas and advice on extending book topics into early literacy activities and play-based follow up experiences. These discussions were consolidated with families receiving a free book to take home, along with tips sheets on reading and early literacy development. This also included information on other complementary services such as the local library.

Lynette Cruickshank, Let's Read Project Officer, The Smith Family

Family Fun Day May 2015

Families from the Let’s Read program were invited by a local Neighbourhood Centre to participate in their annual Family Fun Day on the Sunshine Coast. The morning was focused on connection, play and celebration of the local community. Let’s Read provided a storytelling corner, with children exposed to a range of children’s books and the opportunity to make their own Let’s Read inspired bookworm finger puppet.

Children were able to participate in group storytelling, independent reading opportunities and one- on-one focused reading sessions.

Highlights included the large number of dads reading with their sons and daughters, and the many enthusiastic discussions with parents on the connection between reading to young children and early literacy development. 

Lynette Cruickshank, Let’s Read Project Officer Sunshine Coast, The Smith Family

Brisbane North, November 2012

Catherine Oehlman, Brisbane North Let's Read Project Officer in Caboolture, Sunshine Coast, was the keynote speaker at a recent Family Day Care conference in Brisbane's northern suburbs. Catherine was able to share information about language and literacy development from 0-5 years and best practice in the early years to home educators from the Family Day Care scheme.

These educators are now aware of the Let's Read program and materials and better equipped to promote literacy to the families they work with. Pine Rivers Family Day Care Coordinator Karen McWha said, "Thank you so very much for your time, it was great!  We did feel our day was very successful with the educators.  We're so glad we found you."

Story by Catherine Oehlman, Let’s Read Project Officer, The Smith Family.


The Let's Read program in Caboolture is sponsered by The Smith Family.

Key contact

The Smith Family