Archive: Aug 2015

An exhibition of stories from the hearts of foster kids to puppet shows and a symposium are among the events happening across the country for National Child Protection Week

“This book represents my love for fairy tales. My passion driven by my hope that someday my life can represent a fairy tale,” is the written explanation of the above photograph by one of the young people featured in the As Eye See It exhibition.

A black and white photography exhibition in Sydney, by young people living in out-of-home care in New South Wales, a puppet show touring primary schools in Western Australian, a symposium and gala award dinner acknowledging child protection champions in Queensland, a Professionals Networking BBQ in Victoria, jumping castles, face painting and more at a free Family Picnic Day in regional NSW and a NAPCAN Play Your Part award ceremony in Tasmania are some of the events happening in National Child Protection Week (6 – 12 September, 2015).

The As Eye See It initiative, which is launching in National Child Protection Week, at Juniper Hall, Paddington, Sydney, is coordinated by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian and provides a revealing insight into the lives of young people living in out-of-home care. The latest statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that, there are 43,009 Australian children living in out-of-home care.

The participants in the exhibition are given a digital camera and asked to submit five black and white photographs about what is important to them, a photo of their eye and twenty-five words about each image.

“This football represents my love of sports and the connections I make when I play sports such as family, friends and community,” describes the below photo featured in As Eye See It. The free public exhibition is open from 9 to 20 September (Wednesday to Sundays).

Janaia from AbCare, “My football”

Janaia from AbCare, “My football”

The exhibition will also feature at NAPCAN’s New South Wales Play Your Part Awards ceremony. The awards recognise individuals and organisations that play their part to promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people, through inspiring, community led, evidenced based initiatives.

The NAPCAN Tasmanian Play Your Part Award ceremony with guest speaker, National Children’s Commissioner Ms Megan Mitchell, will be a breakfast in Hobart that is open to the public, register here. Young people will emcee at the event, the Minister for Human Services, the Hon Jacquie Petrusma MP will launch NCPW in the state and Tasmania’s Children’s Commissioner, Mr Mark Morrissey, will present the Play Your Part award.

In Western Australia a puppet show about a lion that is feeling unsafe and needs to tell someone will be presented by Allambee Counselling and the police to the primary schools of Dwellingup, Boddington and Waroona. The visits will include interactive arts and crafts activities about protective behaviours themes and concepts, such as creating safety hands. The Department for Child Protection and Family support will also hold a presentation to school staff.

Allambee Counselling's puppet show for 2014 NCPW

A puppet show about a wombat and Constable Care visited Carcoola and Meadow Springs Primary Schools in Western Australia last National Child Protection Week.

A child protection week symposium and gala award dinner acknowledging child protection champions will take place in the Ipswich region. Child and youth service providers, school support staff, health professionals and students studying in the human services field are welcome to join in the educational engagement event.

The Gala Dinner and Awards Presentation will highlight the importance of child protection in the community and recognise the accomplishments of individuals, organisations and services in the Ipswich police region, in the child safety and protection sector.

The 2014 Ipswich Region Child Protection Week Award winners

The 2014 Ipswich Region Child Protection Week Award winners

A free Family Picnic Day will be held in King Edward Park, Glen Innes, hosted by the Council’s Children and Family Services department, with face painting, jumping castles, entertainment, craft, food and information bags for families.

In Shepparton, FamilyCare will host a professionals networking barbeque to celebrate the good work being done to promote child safety and wellbeing.

Last year’s recipient of the National Play Your Part Award, Wollongong City Council – Child Friendly Cities, will take part in the South Coast Child Wellbeing Network’s Professional Development Day at Kiama Pavillion. The conference for over 100 people is designed for workers in early childhood, health, education, FaCS and non-government organisations working with vulnerable families.

Wollongong City Council is also co-hosting a free Family Fun Day at Westfield Warawong for families with children aged zero to five, which includes a reading tent, play dough and craft activities, Billy Back Pack and Bright Spark mascots, a music area, freebies, raffle prizes, and information for parents.

Register an event for National Child Protection Week here.

A winner of the 2014 National Play Your Part Award launches its biggest project ever

The most important factors that Wollongong City Council looks for in the people that design their playgrounds are their ability to have fun, play, draw and be a kid.

One of the 2014 recipients of NAPCAN’s National Play Your Part Award, Wollongong City Council – Child Friendly Cities, has undertaken their widest consultation with 270 children and young people to overhaul Wollongong’s Stuart Park playground, the largest in the region.

Tracey Kirk-Downey from the Council’s children and family services department, consulted with students from Coniston and Wollongong public schools, the Smith Street Children’s Centre and the South Coast Workers Child Care Centre, to give them a voice in the design of the spaces they use.

The children and young people from 0 to twelve years-of-age were asked what they liked and didn’t like about the playground, what sort of the play they liked such as swinging and sliding, how they interact with the green space and what equipment and activities they would like. They created design concept maps to incorporate casuarina trees to play in and equipment for children with disabilities.

Up to 170 children and young people created artwork for the playground including a large mosaic dragon fly, as the insects are iconic to the area. They designed clay tiles and moulded play fossils to represent the indigenous extinct animals that lived there prehistorically. The fossils were then embedded in the dry creek bed that runs through playground.

To reflect the modern history of the place the school-aged children created drawings of the migrant tent city that was there fifty years ago. Where migrants from Holland and Norway lived for months when they first arrived in the region. The children were shown archive photos and they created drawings of what life would have been like then, which were converted into clay tiles and installed into the footpaths in the playground.

The official opening of the playground was two weeks ago, where 250 children attended,  a few of the children were invited to cut the opening ribbon and to speak to the crowd about their contributions.

The next two projects that council are engaging with children and young people on is the town centre revitalisation project and the library’s strategic plan.

Tracey Kirk-Downey said that she’s very excited that other team’s from council are now running consultations with children and young people.

“It’s not just children’s services but others, such as the strategic planning team that are taking responsibility for including children in their plans.”

Ms Kirk-Downey said that winning the Play Your Part National Award has led to other councils learning from the Child Friendly Cities initiative to adopt consultations with children and young people in their own area, including Campbelltown and the City of Sydney.

The school-aged children created drawings of the migrant tent city that was in Stuart Park in 1949.

The school-aged children created drawings of the migrant tent city that was in Stuart Park in 1949.


dragon fly drawings

Coniston public school students show their dragon fly drawings, which were made into clay tile artworks for the playground.