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Happy mums and dads in Clermont

Jenny and Flynn Ellis.
Jenny and Flynn Ellis.

CLERMONT kids have an assured future and sustainable start to their education with the unveiling of the Clermont Kindergarten and Day Care Centre's five-year plan.

One of the first of its kind in Queensland and 18 months ahead of legislative changes, parents have been given a guided and interactive tour of the strategic direction the facility will follow.

For Jenny Ellis, whose 13-month-old son Flynn attends day care two days a week, it is comforting to know the centre will be there long term.

"He loves coming here so it's good to know he's still going to have a place to come to in the future," Jenny said.

The unique approach to revealing the five-year plan was to give parents an interactive insight and highlight the substance and permanence of the structure, which took the core concerns from a number of community focus groups run over the past 18 months.

In collaboration with Rio Tinto, Clermont residents were invited to have their say on the CKDC centre to develop the feasibility study.

Rio Tinto acting general manager for Clermont region Prue Lonergan said the partnership with the community on developing the plan was a flagship for the mining giant's engagement plan.

"The philosophy behind the Rio Tinto program is really around developing people and creating sustainable communities," Mrs Lonergan said. "It's around helping people and seeing if we can actually help them develop the community in other areas.

"So we've had a lot of successful partnerships and the Clermont Kindy and Day Care has been one of those flagship programs for us."

She said since establishing itself as a resource and employment giant in the Clermont region more than 25 years ago, Rio Tinto actively sought to help the development of the community.

"The philosophy may have changed in the last 25 years but it's still centred on making sure the skills and support are there," she said.

"We can't say what other mining companies should do.

"A mining company can't actually say where the community needs to be, but it's important to realise that mining companies bring a lot of resources in, a skill set that a smaller community may not have so it's a two-way street."

That philosophy played out in the development of the five-year plan, which is centred on four key pillars - operational requirements, communication and relationships, learning culture, and sustainability.

The result was a 200-page document which, when being presented to the wider community, posed a problem - hence the transformation of the CKDC centre on Saturday.

"We were passionate about delivering a launch that was different to others," project manager Sarah Guilfoyle said.

"Something that wasn't simply going through the motions, but a purposeful and meaningful communication of the five-year plan."


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