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It was all about dribbling into fun this school holidays, with AnglicareSA’s Playford Communities for Children teaming up with Community Partner Yara Family Connections to host a free basketball event.

The event at Smithfield Plains’ John McVeity Centre saw children aged between 5 and 12 years old run some basketball drills, connect with others, and expel some energy.

For the children involved, it might just be a fun day out, but this school holiday basketball event is part of a broader community picture.

It’s one of the many events that AnglicareSA runs in partnership with another service.

Melissa Ruthen, co-director of Yara Family Connections, said the Community Partner model worked because it was relationship based.

“I’ve partnered with almost every major organisation, not only in the northern suburbs but throughout the metropolitan area,” Melissa said. “AnglicareSA partners very well, their communication is exceptional, and they share information easily.

“A lot of agencies are still in that competitive mode where they think they can’t partner because they’re competing for the same funding. AnglicareSA doesn’t think like that.”

Amita Rana-Marjara, Community Development Worker at AnglicareSA, said partnerships within the community were crucial to the work the organisation does.

“We look at what the gaps are in the area,” Amita said. “We work alongside other services as much as we can to make sure there are activities and services that families can access around Playford.”

AnglicareSA Community Development Worker Jayde Milburn said Yara Family Connections was a perfect choice to partner with for this event because of its strong ties in the local area.

“Yara Family Connections is doing amazing things in our community,” Jayde said. “They have so much passion for the community.”

The organisation, which launched in May 2023, offers services exclusively for First Nations peoples after the directors saw a gap in mainstream services and wanted to create safe services for Aboriginal peoples.

Melissa said the event was not so much about the basketball as it was about teaching the children resilience, especially from a cultural leader and proud Kaurna, Narrunga, Ngarrindjeri man like Trevor Pearce, who is one of Yara’s co-directors.

It’s clearly an approach that’s working, with some of the children so eager to play basketball and interact with mentors like Trevor that they arrived half an hour early.

Through similar events and partnerships with organisations like AnglicareSA. Melissa said the trust circle becomes broader for people to access the services and support they might need.

“We’re trying to widen the trust circle and the partnership approach does work,” she said. “Even though I’m promoting another business, people are going to benefit from that.

“We can invest the time and leverage the community’s trust to say AnglicareSA are people that Yara trusts, and they will look after you.

“It’s always about community and about what’s right for them.”

Learn more about AnglicareSA’s Playford Communities for Children program online or through the Facebook group.