Bairnsdale, Victoria

About the community

Bairnsdale is the largest city in the East Gippsland region, situated on the Mitchell River which then flows into the extensive Gippsland Lakes system at Lake King. The estimated population for Bairnsdale is around 17,000 with approximately 3.5% of the population identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. The traditional owners are the Gunaikurnai people and their territory includes the coastal and inland areas to the southern slopes of the Victorian Alps.

Bairnsdale and the Let's Read program

The Let’s Read Program in Bairnsdale is well resourced with over 250 book packs and a Steering Committee formed with around seven local community partners. These partners include kindergartens, playgroups, local government and family service agencies. Many community professionals have been trained to deliver Let’s Read and there are four local partners who have established resource borrowing boxes to encourage families to borrow the Let’s Read books.

Community stories

Let’s Read Returns to Bairnsdale

Bairnsdale families enjoyed some great reading entertainment and giveaways this week when the Let’s Read program was launched at the Bairnsdale library. The program, which has been recently re--vitalised in the local community by The Smith Family, in partnership with a number of community agencies, focuses on the importance of early literacy and its impact on improved educational outcomes. 

Let’s Read is a national, evidence based early years initiative that promotes reading with children from birth to five years.  It was developed by the centre for Community Child Health at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Royal Children’s Hospital.  The Murdoch Research Institute and The Smith Family have partnered to implement Let’s Read with communities across Australia.

The local launch included a visit from “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” with the children taking an active role in the storyline.  Let’s Read resources, including Parent Tip Sheets, Book Suggestion Lists, books, stickers and colouring pencils were distributed to the children and the Mayor, Cr Marianne Pelz, spoke about the importance of literacy in education and cut the cake to celebrate. The celebration was followed by Story Time in the library.

Borrowing boxes containing Let’s Read resources are currently available in four locations including the Bairnsdale library, GEGAC, Westdale kindergarten and the West Bairnsdale Community Hub, with more to come in the near future.


Let's Read Bairnsdale is sponsored by Gippsland Lakes Community Health and The Smith Family and supported by in-kind funding from East Gippsland Shire.

Key contact

The Smith Family