Sunshine West, Victoria

About the community

Sunshine West, a suburb of Brimbank, is an extremely culturally diverse community.

Sunshine West and the Let's Read program

The Let's Read program in Sunshine West is coordinated by the Smith Family and implemented through a range of partners. Let’s Read complements other work being undertaken by The Smith Family in Brimbank through Learning for Life and Communities for Children. As Sunshine West is a very multicultural community, a more community based delivery model has been adopted. More emphasis has been on training, coaching and literacy promotion amongst parents, professionals and in the broader community.

Community stories

Bookweek - 26 August 2015



Book week activities were held at St Albans Primary School. Students in Prep - year 2 participated in a reading of the ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ (with special visit from the Hungry Caterpillar), book making and badge making activities. Parents and younger siblings were invited to attend the session. TSF staff spoke with the parents who attended about the importance of reading from birth and handed out age-appropriate tipsheets and book lists. The activities were facilitated by teachers at the school, TSF staff and TSF volunteers.

The event promoted the Let's Read message to parents who attended and encouraging a love of books and reading with the young students.

The event also promoted Let's Read to families in the St Albans community. The parents who attended were interested in finding out more about Let's Read and emergent literacy. They understood the importance of reading and were interested in attending a Let's Read workshop to be held at the school to gain more insight into reading with their children.

Sian Hulland, Program Co-ordinator Learning for Life, The Smith Family

October 2013

Book packs are still being delivered at 12 month MCH checks at Sunshine and West Sunshine. Talks at first mums groups take place every two months at Sunshine MCH. More intensive work is being undertaken with the African playgroup next term.

The local Let’s Read Coordinator undertook a training session for playgroup facilitators. This was developed, planned and implemented in conjunction with Brimbank Council. The training covered how to discuss reading with parents, research and information about early brain development and practical demonstrations using reading, singing, storytelling and props.  Around 15 people attended the training.

July 2013

In Brimbank, apart from working with Maternal Child Health Nurses, Let's Read is also implementing early literacy education activities in our community.

Recently the Let’s Read community program helped to implement a ‘literacy month’ at the Willis Street Kindergarten (part of the Best Start Literacy Working Group). During ‘literacy month’ Willis St Kindergarten launched their new library and hosted a range of early literacy activities for families and their children. A Brimbank Secondary College student and the local VIEW club also helped out with activities that included parent information sessions, interactive reading demonstrations, a librarian’s visit, songs and book readings. The VIEW club also raised funds for enabled each family involved in literacy month to receive a library bag and books.

Parents of children at the Kindergarten were involved in all sessions. The kindergarten commented that it is often difficult to engage parents in activities, however ‘literacy month ‘and the Let’s Read community program helped to generate a lot of interest, participation and enthusiasm from local families and their children.


Random Acts of Reading: A community celebration of reading in the Sunshine Community

On Wednesday 26 September 2012 the Sunshine Community took time out to celebrate reading. The day was planned as part of the Brimbank Writers’ Festival and consisted of two events over the course of the day. The first event was Little Random Acts (10am – 12 noon) and then in the afternoon the broader community program of Random Acts of Reading (12 noon – 2.30pm). The event was funded by the Miller Foundation.

Starting the day was the early years’ event “Little Random Acts” which took place at the Granary CafĂ©. Activities included physical games from our local ‘Kinda Moves’ program and Vocal Enchantment, an entertainer, gave a performance that had a literacy focus. Participants relaxed in the outdoor courtyard and took the opportunity to share books and the company of others. As part of the day each child received a book bag containing a book as well as information about local playgroups and the importance of sharing books with children. 

The event also featured a very special appearance by a cousin of the Hungry Caterpillar, who came all the way from France. Apparently she had heard that Sunshine was a special place, very culturally diverse, with people who loved books!

Around 70 and 40 adults attended this event with 6 volunteers and three Keilor VIEW club members helped out on the day. Keilor VIEW club was very supportive of the event and raised funds to buy books for the book bags.  Apart from the entertainment and the fun, many links were formed with Communities for Children and Council Staff who were in attendance. Participants had the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about opportunities in Sunshine and the broader Brimbank Community.

Story by Jeanine Carter, Learning for Life Community Development Worker, The Smith Family


The Smith Family

Key contact

The Smith Family