Primary School newsletter draft text

The Victorian Government is investing $1.5 million from the Recreational Fishing Licence Trust Fund to provide up to 95,000 Little Angler Kits to primary school aged children in Victoria.

The free kits provide a wonderful school holiday activity for children with their families/carers and help ease the cost of living, providing a fun activity close to home.

Grade 5 students at all Victorian schools, including ours, will be offered the opportunity to receive a FREE Little Angler Kit. Grade 5 students have been selected based on the Victorian Curriculum focus, movement and motor development, and safety considerations.

The program is entirely voluntary. Schools were provided with the option to opt out of the program. Our school has opted to stay in the program so that parents can decide whether they want their child(ren) to receive a free fishing kit. Parents/carers of Grade 5 students can advise the school if they do not wish their child(ren) to participate for any reason whatsoever. We support parents in making decisions that align with their family values and beliefs.

Little Angler Kits include a fishing rod, tackle tray, some tackle (including hooks and lead sinkers) and a kids guide to fishing. The kits are approximately 3 foot long. Please note that fishing equipment is not for human consumption. If a child does swallow a hook or lead sinker, seek medical assistance immediately - don’t wait for it to pass. Young children and those with some disabilities including pica disorder are especially vulnerable. See the Victorian Fishing Authority’s Little Angler Kits FAQs for parents for more information.

The roll out of kits will be completed by mid-February 2024, beginning 30 October, 2023.

The kits include a rod, reel with line, tackle tray, some tackle and information on how to use them to catch a fish. Please note that the tackle tray includes fishing hooks and lead sinkers. The tackle tray will be wrapped in cardboard and placed inside a pocket inside the fishing kit bag, which will be sealed with a cable tie to discourage students from opening their kits until they are with a parent or carer.

Kits will be handed out to students to take home with them as soon as the school receives them. Teachers will tell students not to open the kits until they are safely at home with a parent or carer, however parents can contact the school and request to collect their kit from the school themselves if they prefer.

The Victorian Fisheries Authority created a Little Angler hub on their website. It has useful information, instructional videos and online resources about where and how to fish safely, linking to existing resources from Fishcare and new resources to be produced just for the Little Angler Kits program.

This initiative aims to grow recreational fishing participation in Victoria by actively encouraging primary school aged children to learn how to fish, as well as learning more about marine life and the natural environment.