Yarra, Victoria

About the community

Yarra is a diverse community that has gone through a process of gentrification in the 80’s and 90’s. There are high levels of disadvantage concentrated in the 3 public housing towers of Fitzroy (Atherton Gardens), Collingwood and Richmond. People living in the towers are at greater risk of experiencing unemployment, early pregnancy, intergenerational poverty and welfare dependence. There are large numbers of refugees and new arrivals and more than 44% of the residents speak languages other than English. Research shows that there are low levels of awareness amongst parents regarding the importance of the laying the foundations for literacy success in the years before school. As a result a number of children from this area do not arrive at school ready to take advantage of the learning opportunities provided at school.

Yarra and the Let's Read program

The Let's Read program in Yarra is delivered through the Maternal and Child Health Centres (MCHC) and kindergartens such as Boroondara North Richmond Kindergarten.

Community stories

Let's Read training in 2017

In June 2017, Collingwood in Victoria held its first Let’s Read Training session for Community Partners.

It was very well attended with 19 partners, participants from HIPPY, a partner Primary School, Adult Education services & Early Childhood workers. The Victorian Let’s Read Champion delivered the training and had participants engaged and excited about early literacy conversations with parents. From this training there were expressions of interest for the Steering Committee, the first meeting to be held in September 2017.

Lucinda Young, Programs Coordinator, Learning for Life | The Smith Family


The Let's Read program in Yarra is sponsored by The Smith Family and the Yarra Early Years Partnership Emergent Literacy and Learning Group. This group includes Yarra Family Services, Yarra Libraries, Brotherhood of St Laurence, and Partnership Managers.

Key contact

The Smith Family