A BOX FULL OF GOODIES: Nyx Taylor, 5, kindergarten teacher Gemma Jarman and Rory Frost, 4, pack supplies for our troops to arrive on ANZAC Day.


VEGEMITE, Tim-Tams and Barbecue Shapes are just some of the items being included in care packages by Mildura SuniTAFE kindergarten students.

The packages are making their way overseas as part of the ANZAC care-package program, organised and managed by the Engadine RSL sub-branch.

Program organiser, Brad Copelin, a veteran and RSL DefenceCare Ambassador, said sub-branch members could attest to the positive effect care packs had on the morale of troops serving overseas.

As of March 31, the Engadine sub-branch have 292 early learning centres and kindergartens Australia-wide participating in the ANZAC care-package project.

Some centres have mailed as many as 162 boxes of goodies to deployed forces, with more, including SunTAFE’s, to come. 

SuniTAFE’s care packages are filled with a little bit of home, featuring iconic ‘Aussie’ foods and treats, tea bags, coffee, along with hand-drawn poppies and letters from Mildura children.

After seeing the program advertised on Facebook, kindergarten teacher Gemma Jarman said she just had to get SuniTAFE families involved.

“It’s just such a fantastic idea and program,” she said. “To be able to give back to our troops, and have our families involved in a program like this, I think has been amazing!”

Overwhelmed by the generosity, Gemma could hardly get into her office Monday morning where boxes of donated goods were piled high.

“I was, and still am, completely blown away by the generosity and help from our families and children,” she said. “We have some amazing families here, willing to do whatever they can to help our SuniTAFE community.”

Sending their 15 care-packages off Monday afternoon, Gemma said she hopes other Sunraysia centres will consider taking part.

“I’d never heard of it before, so I thought, why not?” she said. “I thought if SuniTAFE got involved, it might inspire other early learning centres and kindergartens to get involved for next year. 

‘The more people involved, the better!”