The Mid Murray Family Connections Collective Impact initiative has won a Partnerships and Collaborations Award from Local Government Professionals Australia SA for its work helping developmentally vulnerable children.
The award is the culmination of six years of hard work by 60 partner organisations and the Mid Murray Council, all in an effort to improve the life and future for local children from birth through to age eight - and improve that they have.
In 2012 the Australian Early Development Census found that 32.4 per cent of local children were developmentally vulnerable in multiple areas.
The recently released 2018 figures show a drop to 10.7pc - one third of the original rate, compared to the SA average of 13pc and the national average of 11pc.
Mid Murray Mayor Dave Burgess said the award was further recognition of the effort and dedication of hundreds of people in the community to significant change.
"Council and our partners have been heavily focused on addressing the challenges within our community affecting children's development, and to see the substantial results of this project is rewarding for all parties involved," he said.
"We want our region to be a great place for families to live and for their children to grow up in, so we are committed to ensuring they have access to the support services and education they need to give them the best start to life.
"Some of the work which was completed by the MMFC included giving over 150 participants 'wellbeing sessions', creating online educational resources for families, raised awareness and money to combat domestic violence and ran children's mental health workshops."
Mid Murray community services director Amy Loechel said the project's diverse activities and outreach initiatives had been key to its success.
She added that the project had been a huge challenge due to the number of issues presented within it, including health, mental wellbeing, physical activity, education and safety; and that all of these issues needed individual, tailored solutions.