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Taryn Brumfitt “Embraces” Jamestown

Photo Meg Hansen Photography

When news broke that Taryn Brumfitt, the Australian of the Year, was making a stop ‘up the road’ at Ororroo for a Rural Women’s Day event, Jamestown’s Annie O’Reilley of St James School’s Parents and Friends Committee saw an opportunity. She reached out to Taryn, and to everyone’s delight, Taryn agreed to make a detour via Jamestown on her way home!

A cosy group of 60, spanning across generations, gathered at Bundaleer Forest’s Maple & Pine event space to witness the screening of ‘Embrace Kids,’ a film created by Taryn. Following the movie, a luncheon and a 45-minute Q & A session with Taryn unfolded, leaving participants with powerful, life-changing, and inspiring emotions. The experience for some was nothing short of transformative.

‘Embrace Kids’ is a vibrant film, featuring animation, live action, interviews, music, and more. It’s a delightful exploration of children’s relationships with their bodies, covering crucial topics like social media impact, disabilities, gender identity, representation, and diversity.

The film is freely available to all Primary and Secondary schools in Australia through the Embrace Kids Classroom Program, tailored for students in years 5-6 and 7-8, aligning with the Australian Curriculum. It comprises five lessons, each starting with a section of the G-rated Embrace Kids film, edited for classroom settings. The program is enriched with evidence-based activities and worksheets to confidently guide students.

Launched in early February 2023, the Embrace Kids Classroom Program also offers developmentally-appropriate resources via the The Embrace Hub. Divided into sections for younger tweens (ages 9-12) and adolescents (13+ years), the hub includes a podcast and the Embrace Kids book for added support.

Understanding the pivotal role parents play in shaping their children’s body perceptions, Taryn and her team offer practical steps which were highlighted at Sunday’s event. These include avoiding negative comments about bodies, practicing self-compassion, modelling a healthy lifestyle, engaging in positive conversations, and curating social media feeds together.

Taryn, our home grown South Aussie, is the face and the force behind the Body Image Movement and has gained recognition worldwide. The movement, supported by the Embrace Hub, aims to create body-image safe environments for young people to learn, grow, and thrive. To add to the movements success, the Federal Government has allocated $6.2 million in funding for the Embrace Kids program to combat body image issues and eating disorders.

Taryn encourages people to ’take the pledge’ at The Embrace Hub, where a commitment screed to ‘embrace’ awaits. Together with The Embrace Collective, which comprises global leaders and experts, guides the movement’s evolution. Their mission is to inspire a global shift in body perceptions and create supportive environments for change.

St. James School’s Parents and Friends, through their proactive approach in bringing the inspirational Body Image Movement to their small community have become part of the worldwide initiative encouraging everyone to feel good about their bodies, no matter how they look or where they’re from.

It shows that starting with small steps can lead to big things and no doubt the ripple affect has only just begun for the people of Jamestown. Plus, who knows, maybe even famous people like the Australian of the Year might come to your town too, if you just ask!

 

 

 

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