Colac, Victoria

About the community

The Colac-Otway community is situated approximately 150 kilometres from Melbourne CBD. The area covers 3,433 square kilometres. The residential population is 20,296 with 1,457 children aged 0 to 5 years (ABS Census 2006).

Colac and the Let's Read program

Let’s Read training was provided to library staff and Glastonbury Community Services staff who are involved in the delivery of the Let’s Read program in family homes.

Glastonbury Community Services staff delivers the Let’s Read packs when they are delivering early years program such as PLAY and HIPPY which are delivered in the homes on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

Community stories

Children's Week, 2016

We had three trained Let's Read staff deliver 120 Let's Read pack to families at our Children's Week event on Thursday, October 27, 2016.  The event was held at the Colac Botanic Gardens with over 260 children, parents, early childhood educators, community service staff in attendance.  The two trainers conducted one on one Let's Read deliveries over the day.  This allowed for a saturation of deliveries to occur in the one spot - spreading the word of the importance of Early Childhood Literacy and supported families to engage with emergent literacy development messaging and resources.

Kim Coulter | Early Years Coordinator | BCYF

October 2015

Colac held our annual Children's Week event in October 2015 to engage families with our emergent literacy development messaging and resource. Children of the ages 0- 5yrs were invited to attend with families and carers. Also in attendance were four local kindergartens.

A reading area was available for families with Let's Read resources available. BCYF staff this area and deliver Let's Read to parents while children participate in looking at books. Also at this event was an Aboriginal community member who offered Aboriginal story telling, whereby the children participate in listening to and acting out the stories with puppets and other resources.

Celebration of the little children within the community engages parents with the importance of early childhood literacy in a gentle, non-threatening manner. By having so many families at the event we were able to ensure all are getting the common message of the importance of reading to their children from day dot.

Kim Coulter, Coordinator, Early Years, Barwon, Child, Youth and Family (previously Glastonbury)

March 2015

Colac residents are celebrating the expansion of the town’s Let’s Read Program – as part of the Victorian Governments Advancing Country Towns initiative Glastonbury Community Services has taken a lead role in partnership with Regional Development Victoria, Colac Otway Shire, Colac Area Health, Colac Regional Library, and other community service providers in supporting this to occur. 

Sue Ryan, the Best Practice Project Worker from Glastonbury said “The expansion of the Let’s Read Colac project will ensure children in the Colac community meet literacy requirements before they start school, which will enhance their ability to read and perform well in class; as well as boosting their self-esteem and employment opportunities later in life.”

Twelve new community organisations have become involved in the program. Employees form each agency attended the Let’s Read training, resulting in a broad range of community-based professionals providing parents with resources including books, booklists and fact sheets; raising awareness of the importance of literacy within the community.  These agencies range from those offering universal services through to tertiary services, with a particular emphasis on reaching vulnerable families.

In addition Colac has implemented the ‘Leader Readers’ program which  involves recruiting VCAL students from three local Secondary Schools to read to children in early years settings.  Sue said “…this is a fantastic way of increasing the opportunity for young children to be read too.  It also increases the knowledge and skills of our VCAL students on the importance of reading to young children, offering them prior insight for when they become parents themselves.”

The expansion of Let’s Read assists with ensuring most families within the Colac Otway Shire receive a consistent message about the importance of early childhood literacy and the benefits of reading to children from birth.

Kim Coulter | Team Leader Colac/Surf Coast Shire I Early Years | Glastonbury Community Services


March 2013

The Let’s Read program was formally launched in Colac during March 2008.  Since then, the program has been delivered to hundreds of children and their families throughout the shire, including the distribution of books and Let’s Read packs to family homes on a regular basis.

It gives staff such great joy to support parents enhance their understanding of the value of reading to their children.  There is strong emphasis on the notion that it is never too early to start, and that reading is a fun pursuit that families can enjoy and participate in together.

The staff also delight in the opportunity of giving young children their own special books.  The book “Brown Bear” is a hit amongst the young ones, especially when the words are sung to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”.  Feedback from parents suggests “Brown Bear“ can be told and sung everywhere, even without the book!  It is great to mix up the colors and incorporate other animals too.  Many of the groups run by Glastonbury staff enhance the reading experience by including craft activities inspired by the reading material. For example, in the case of the “Brown Bear”, families are encouraged and shown how to make their very own paper bag bear puppet!

Colac-1.jpg  Colac-2.jpg

Story by Kim Coulter, Glastonbury Child and Family Services



The Let's Read program in Colac is sponsored by Glastonbury Community Service and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCHSIA).

Key contact

Kim Coulter


P (03) 5231 4740