Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Explore and Develop Brookvale and our community grandmother

I would like to introduce myself. The children know me as Miss Val.

I have been a long time neighbour and friend to Charlene. I am a mother of two and grandmother of none. I am also a lecturer and mentor for law graduates at the College of Law. For several years I had segments on Radio Northern Beaches about legal system and the truth about plastic on.

My parents emigrated from London to Australia as 10 pound poms in 1960. The six children were free. We moved to Avalon which was mainly untouched bushland.

My mother, a keen landscape artist, swimmer and angler, introduced us to the natural environment whether we liked it or not. I learned to love the waterways particularly Pittwater as mum ferried us across to the Basin in her tinny.

In 2018 I first learned the truth about plastic production and recycling. I was shocked to learn that almost every piece of plastic ever produced still exists on the planet and that 100,000 marine animals die every year from the 8 million tonnes of plastic waste that end up in our waterways.

I became a volunteer with Australian Surfrider Organisation, a not for profit organisation dedicated to the protection of Australia’s waves and beaches. My role I was to accredit northern beaches businesses as Ocean Friendly. Ocean Friendly living means eliminating the use of all single use plastics and other waste harmful to marine life.

In September 2019 Explore and Develop Brookvale became the only accredited Ocean Friendly child care centre on the northern beaches to do so.

I now attend Explore and Develop Brookvale once a week to read stories and sing with the bilbies, koalas and pre-schoolers. I feel so privileged to be an honorary nanna with these delightful children. I have been given a great gift and I thank Charlene and all the beautiful dedicated staff for allowing me this opportunity. It is always the highlight of my week.

The happy welcoming children make it a caring and delightful place to be. I love the awareness the children have of cultural, social and environmental issues. I wish my children had had the opportunity to attend such a place.

The World Wildlife Foundation list of the top killers of marine life includes;

  • polystyrene packaging
  • plastic straws
  • plastic bags
  • single use cutlery and tableware
  • plastic water bottles
  • balloons, clips & sticks
  • plastic cotton buds
  • plastic stirrers
  • coffee cups and lids
  • single use plastic cups & containers

Now that we know how damaging plastics are to our natural environment we must act to eliminate them from your homes, schools and offices. Simply changing how you shop for can genuinely save marine lives.

Why not start today for the future generations? The decisions you make at the checkout make a difference. I have many suggestions on what to change. Every little bit helps.

Val de Rome


If you would like to find more about Explore & Develop Brookvale we welcome you for a tour. Please call Charlene on 9939 8336.

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