Thursday, August 31, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life



Here is the blue sheep, and here is the red sheep.

Here is the bath sheep, and here is the bed sheep.

But where is the green sheep?

If you recognise these words…and quite possibly know every single other word in this award-winning children’s book by Mem Fox…you probably have a lot to do with little people.

I’m talking specifically about 0-5 year-olds.

Babies are born to learn. Their brain forms more than one million connections every second and up to 90 per cent of brain development happens in the first five years of life!

The Australian Early Development Census data found that too many Queensland children were beginning their school years with weak language and cognitive skills. The First 5 Forever program began, an initiative delivered through public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres (IKCs) in partnership with local government.

Fiona, from Mackay Regional Council Libraries, is the First 5 Forever outreach officer and she does a valuable job connecting our regional families with the resources they need to build the best foundation for their child’s language and literacy development.

One of the ways in which our Libraries connect with families is the amazing Book Week Picnic in the Gardens, which I was lucky enough to attend last month.  This is a beautiful event filled with bubbles, very hungry caterpillars, painted faces, puppets, Elsas, drums, playdough and so much more!

It’s a celebration of reading and language.  The costumes were amazing, and very cute, but it was the excitement of the children as they talked about their favourite books and characters that was the most memorable. Well done to all the Library team who worked so hard to deliver this fantastic event.

Our libraries are filled with passionate staff who promote a place for connection and free programs for families. Baby Bounce, Toddler Time, Story Time, Dads ‘n’ Bubs Baby Bounce and Multiples Chatterplay are all extremely popular.

Right from birth, you can nurture your connection to your child and help their brains growth, simply by talking, reading, singing and playing together.

To find out what’s on visit

Cr Michelle Green
Mackay Regional Council

The team from Badi Yalobaga Yuribaya (Grow Children Strong) – Mackay Connected Beginnings, Janee Breadsell and Zelda Quakawoot, with Cr Michelle Green (centre)

In other news