Media Releases

Media releases from the Office of Susan Templeman MP.

Enquiries from the media should be directed to the Media Adviser via the Electorate Office on (02) 4573 8222 or via email to [email protected]


July 02, 2020

Vulnerable Blue Mountains children will be able to access improved facilities and equipment for therapy sessions following a grant recommended by Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman.


Gateway Family Services in Katoomba has received $10,000 in funding under round five of the Stronger Communities grant for a playroom fit out and new equipment, Ms Templeman announced.


The service is currently preparing to open back up for Term Three in mid-July after operating via Zoom during the pandemic, and Ms Templeman visited the facility recently to see the improvements that are now ready and waiting for local families.


“Gateway Family Services supports many vulnerable families living in the Blue Mountains and Penrith Local Government Areas (LGAs), and children who attend have often experienced significant adversity in their short lives, including family violence and breakdown, poverty, abuse and trauma,” Ms Templeman said. 


“This funding forms part of the service’s Play-Heal-Grow project, which addresses the needs of the children through qualified therapists running play and art therapy at its Katoomba centre.


“The therapy rooms are safe spaces where children can freely express their feelings, worries, fears and hopes.


“Play therapy uses a wide range of specific toys and equipment designed to accommodate each child’s needs for freedom, creative expression and safety.


“The money has been used to purchase a range of items, including culturally-specific toys like a memory game featuring Indigenous symbols and felted father and baby emu toys.


“Other toys like hand puppets are used in sessions with children that have backgrounds in trauma, or those who have underlying developmental concerns.


“Children come into the therapy room and express in play what’s going on with them.


“Often children don’t have the language to talk about things, and this kind of therapy really helps them.


“The funding means there’s a range of new materials in the art therapy room, including sensory materials such as clay. The carpet has also been replaced with lino in the same room.


“And I’m pleased that Gateway was able to purchase $1000 worth of books with the funding.


“Without this kind of early intervention, children can be isolated from their families, peers and the wider community. I am delighted to be able to help facilities like Gateway Family Services continue their vital work in our local community.”