Program Expansion

In 2018 we were so very fortunate to be beneficiaries of the amazing Army Art Exhibition. We are pleased to announce that funds received from Army Art are directly funding 48 additional placements in Developmental Playgroup in 2019! This will double our program to a total of 96 placements for the year!

Army Art are also entirely volunteer run and each year make a significant contribution to the WA community. We are so grateful to their committee and volunteers who work tirelessly to put together the annual exhibition.

Each term 24 placements will be offered in Developmental Playgroup, in two streams split as follows:

Group 1 - Babies aged 6 months up to reaching the milestone of walking (12 placements)

Group 2 - Toddlers who are walking up to age 3 years (12 placements)

Each group will run on opposite fortnights during school terms, on Tuesday mornings from 10am - 11:30am at Ability Centre, Coolbinia.  Each session will be facilitated by an experienced Play Leader and attended by suitably qualified and experienced Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist and Speech Pathologist on a rotational basis.

This program is suitable for any baby/toddler who was admitted to a neonatal unit at birth. Both children born prematurely and those born full term but sick are welcome to enrol. Enrolment is on a first come first served basis and will open on January 16.

More information about Developmental Playgroup can be found on our website here.

Army Art cheque presentation with their Ambassador Senator Linda Reynolds, Committee and volunteers.

Army Art cheque presentation with their Ambassador Senator Linda Reynolds, Committee and volunteers.

Celebrating our 5th Birthday with some of our Term 4 2018 families.

Celebrating our 5th Birthday with some of our Term 4 2018 families.

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Anal Stenosis

Anal Stenosis... have you heard of it?  Mum Sheree shares her story.

“When my son was 5 weeks old, we noticed he always seemed uncomfortable. Sometimes his little face would go bright red and he would just wriggle with discomfort. He didn’t cry or scream - he just didn’t seem relaxed.

I took him to the doctor who said it was colic, and to try infants friend or gripe water. We bought everything we could find at the chemist and tried them all. He didn’t seem to be any different, so I took him to another doctor who again said it was colic and we would need to ride it out for his first three months. I absolutely couldn’t bare to think that my little man would have to be uncomfortable for at least another 7 weeks.


When my son was born he had a small Exomphalos of his bladder. This is where a portion of the bladder protrudes the abdominal wall at the umbilical joint. He had this operated on the day after he was born. We had to visit his surgeon six weeks after the surgery to ensure everything was healing fine and to receive some tests results. I decided to take the opportunity to ask the surgeon if he had any advice on how to deal with colic. He asked me to describe the symptoms and when I explained that he just seemed uncomfortable all the time he asked to examine my sons bottom. I thought it strange but agreed. Upon the surgeon poking a finger into my sons bottom, a massive amount of poop exploded from my sons behind. I couldn’t believe it. The surgeon advised that my son had what is called anal stenosis. Anal stenosis is a narrowing of the anal canal, meaning that when my son pooped he wasn’t able to finish completely as it wouldn’t fit through his anal passage. He would have to have surgery.

The surgery was booked for two weeks time. I was so happy to finally have a solution to why my son always appeared uncomfortable, but I was frightened of the surgery. Any event where my little boy was put to sleep was not something I could be comfortable about. Having been 6.5 weeks premature he was still so small.

On the day of the surgery, I was a mess. My husband was trying to be manly and strong but he too was a little scared. We waited while he had the surgery, not speaking at all, as we were so nervous. The surgery was over within an hour and a half and our son was returned to us. He was emotional from being in a little pain and I think from being scared and not understanding what was happening. The surgery had gone well the surgeon assured us. It was such a relief to have it all over with.

I stayed the night with my son in the hospital and most of the night he just wanted to be held. By the next morning it was if nothing had happened and he was back to himself. 

Anal stenosis is not something I had ever heard of, but occurs 1 in every 5000 births and is common in boys.  My son is now 14 months old and so far he hasn’t had any issues to speak of. I feel so lucky to have had the appointment with the surgeon, as my son could have been in pain for some time as we continued to try different colic mixtures to no avail. If you feel there is something not right with your little one, follow your instincts.”

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Christmas Card Competition

Do you have a budding young artist at home?  Perhaps your 'tiny spark' would like to design our Christmas Card which will be distributed state wide across all neonatal units this Christmas?  Please pop over to our Facebook page to find out all about the competition.  All the details are on this post and you will need to upload your picture to that post to enter.  Good luck!

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Agnes Walsh Project Completion

After a phenomenal response from the WA public we are so pleased to announce that the Agnes Walsh Project has now been completed in full!  Thank you everyone for your donations and support to effect change for our regional mothers!

GWN7 attended the project handover and you can see their piece below.

We are also grateful to the Western Suburbs Weekly who also ran a story about the project which you can read here. 

None of this would have been possible without our dedicated group of volunteers who worked hard to source all of the items included in our donation and attended at Agnes Walsh to ensure the handover went smoothly.

We look forward to undertaking more special projects in the future.

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Developmental Playgroup on the move

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You ask and we listened!  We are pleased to announce the relocation of Developmental Playgroup which will now be held at Ability Centre in Coolbinia.  A more central location with easy access from all areas of the city!

Our friends at Ability Centre can't wait to get started in Term 4 and look forward to meeting the 12 children and their carers who will be participating.

More information about Developmental Playgroup can be found on our dedicated information page here or you can go right ahead with an enrolment through our shop here.

Please remember that placement in this program is limited to 12 and is on a first come, first served basis.  Know someone who would benefit from this program?  Please go right ahead and let them know all about it.

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