This year The Parent Centre celebrates its 40th Anniversary of serving the community by empowering parents through positive parenting and it is a year of changes.
What better way to celebrate than with the launch of a new building. This new vibrant building, the first big change, includes more office space for staff, training facilities for internal and external training, and new counselling rooms ensuring that services can continue and be increased for many years to come. With 40 years of knowledge, experience and evidence based responsive parenting programmes, The Parent Centre is looking at new ways to empower parents by being a voice responding to parenting issues at the forefront of families in our nation. Plans for growth include new training and workshop material development and parenting resources.
In June this year, the organisation experienced their second big change, as The Parent Centre bid farewell to Venecia Barries, our outgoing CEO. Venecia has served the organisation and at-risk children and parents for the past twenty-two years. While changes in the leadership in an organisation can be uncomfortable, the staff, and management continue to operate with the same dedication and passion in providing our services. The Parent Centre’s new Acting CEO Kate Brydon has taken on her new mantle with competence, dedication and vigour.
Kate Brydon is a social worker from Australia who moved to South Africa over 12 years ago with a passion for seeing children, parents and families, empowered, strengthened and supported. A mother of three young boys (5yrs, 3yrs and 5mths), Kate knows firsthand some of the challenges parents face today; parenting in a foreign country, parenting without immediate family support, raising a child with chronic illness, finding a work-life balance, being a breastfeeding mother in the workplace, parenting in communities of violence, and raising boys to be engaged fathers.
Upon her appointment as CEO, Kate had this to say: “After years of working in the foster system and at children’s homes throughout Australia and South Africa, I am passionate about seeing families empowered and strengthened to prevent children from being removed or abandoned. Working in the prevention space is an exciting venture in which we can see tangible change. For us to see a healthy, resilient, secure generation, we need to empower and support parents. We often hear the saying it ‘takes a village to raise a child’, and at The Parent Centre, we are just one part of that village. I believe The Parent Centre has so much to offer to parents and caregivers within our society, and I am excited to see how we grow over the next few years as we continue to use our knowledge and experience to help parents from all walks of life. Every parent needs support, whether it be practical, emotional, or community support. I truly believe that together we can make a difference, one family at a time.”
The family at The Parent Centre wish both Kate and Venecia well on their future endeavours in the parenting sector and applaud the important work that they do.