The Rottnest Foundation welcomed its first school membership when Beaconsfield Primary School became a member of the Foundation in 2018. The school includes a campus on Rottnest, so they have a strong connection with the Island. Foundation Board member, Denise Hilsz, has been working with the school community to support their involvement with island activities, opportunities and events.
A group of dads called “Beacy Dads” are involved in the Fathering Project founded by Perth Doctor, Bruce Robertson. The intention is to improve father’s relationships with their children, help father figures get connected with positive parents, and to highlight and act on the strong causal link between good fathering and the reduction in harmful behaviours such as suicide, self-harm and substance abuse in children.
Given that Rottnest Island campus is part of the Beaconsfield PS, the group wanted to strengthen the link for kids and dads. The goal became a reality with the inaugural Beaconsfield PS Fathering Project Rottnest Island Camp in April 2018.
The highly successful camp involved 85 kids and 52 dads camping on the Island for a weekend of camping fun, bike exploration and unique Rottnest activities. The children had some magnificent experiences and got up close and personal with the Island, campground, school, Thomson’s Farm, some pirates and of course, quokkas. The dads forged friendships and had excellent quality time with their kids.
Kirsten Dicker, Principal of Beaconsfield Primary School is an enthusiastic supporter of the Fathering Project and the school’s involvement with the Rottnest Foundation. We look forward to working together in the future.