Research is telling us that strong social cohesion in a community has a protective effect for children. Communities where children are seen and heard, where their participation is valued, and where their families can get the support they need, are stronger communities that help to keep children safe and well. We also wanted to remind families that it’s ok to ask for help; we all need to support each other if we are to build a brighter future for children. This poster features artwork by a Year 8 student from Dubbo NSW, Shannon Kassell, who has captured the concept beautifully:
My painting represents a play on words being ‘people who build up our community’. The tower with small houses and work buildings such as a hospital and school, represents the community ‘up’ therefore the people walking upwards represents the townspeople in the community. There are many indigenous and non-indigenous people, with couples, students, police and health workers to be seen, that make up our community.”
This poster reminds us that even the small things we do (e.g. smile, listen, talk, hear, play, notice) can make a difference to a child’s future. As recognised in the Federal Government’s National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020, for children to reach their full potential it’s important to consider their early development, especially in the first 1000 days. All positive experiences and relationships – no matter how small – help to positively develop the child’s brain and build strong foundations for better health and development outcomes. For a great explanation, see the video ‘How Brains are Built: The Core Story of Brain Development‘.
Having even one positive adult in a child’s life can help them overcome negative experiences and build healthy brain foundations. You can, and might already be, that one person!
NATIONAL CHILD PROTECTION WEEK 2017
(3 – 9 September 2017)
Hey kids and teens!
National Child Protection Week is all about children and young people.
So we’d love to be able to use your artwork to help us spread important messages about how our community can work together to help keep children safe.
WHAT CAN I WIN?
WHAT KIND OF ARTWORK?
The theme of National Child Protection Week is ‘Stronger Communities, Safer Children’. Basically this means: ‘How do we build happy communities where everyone works together to protect children?’.
We want to see what things YOU think are most important in making your community happy and safe for children. What things should adults (parents, friends, family, teachers, volunteers, workers etc) be doing to help keep children safe from abuse and neglect?
For example you might like to draw a picture that shows:
HOW DO I ENTER?
DEADLINE: 5pm Friday 28 April 2017
WHAT IS NATIONAL CHILD PROTECTION WEEK ALL ABOUT?
National Child Protection Week (NCPW) runs from the 3rd – 9th September 2017. This is an annual campaign run by NAPCAN supported by community organisations across Australia. National Child Protection Week aims to raise awareness of children’s right to be safe and well and to encourage more adults to play their part in making this happen. During National Child Protection Week there will be lots of activities and stories about how everyone in the community can play their part in protecting children. You can find out more about National Child Protection Week on our website at www.napcan.org.au/ncpw
HOW DO I GET MORE INFORMATION?
If you have any questions, please contact:
National Stakeholder Manager
Mobile: 0408 914971
Press release: Vātsalyam: South Asian Expressions of Parenting Love
Third Space Productions, with sponsorship and support from the Community Migrant Resource Centre (Northern Sydney Region), SAHELI/SEVA and NAPCAN are proud to announce the launch of our film, Vatsalayam, an honest and heartwarming exploration of parenting amongst South Asian migrant communities in Australia.
Vatsalyam, or ‘parenting love’ is a Malayalam term which encapsulates the special, celebratory relationship that exists between parents, particularly the mother, and the child in South Asian communities.
The film directed by Amrit Versha, will be launched during Parramasala, on 11th March 2017 at the Riverside Theatre. Vatsalyam weaves together a collage of stories depicting how South Asian parents and grandparents draw on, and adapt, traditional cultural practices in raising their children in Australia.
Led by prominent South Asian academics, community workers and advocates this film has emerged from several years of community development work. In making this film, we show the importance of culture in building stronger families and communities.
A message which resonates throughout the film is that the South Asian diaspora in Australia is changing and that migration strongly influences the way children are raised across generations. Whilst South Asian communities share many common rituals and practices that celebrate motherhood and a child’s early years, cross cultural activities around everyday parenting are extremely diverse. Significant celebrations mark milestones and are powerful expressions of love towards both the mother and child.
Even in western medicine, there is now a greater acknowledgement of the biological, social and cultural influences on the mother-infant dyad, the role of psychosocial support in the perinatal period, and that early influences on the infant have long lasting consequences for health and wellbeing in later life.
Dr Roanna Gonsalves, academic and author of ‘The Permanent Resident’, will launch the film at 2pm on Saturday 11th March 2017 at the Parramatta Riverside Theatre. The film will be followed by a panel discussion with some leading South Asians and followed by a cultural performance.
The Play Your Part Awards recognise organisations and individuals who are working to create safer, healthier and happier environments for children.
We all have a part to play in keeping children safe and well, and we would love to hear about some of the inspiring primary prevention activities you, or others, are doing in your community.
Initiatives that reduce children’s risk of experiencing abuse and neglect are not always easy to identify, but are the kinds of activities that help keep kids safe and provide them with communities where they can thrive. Activities such as play groups, community events and scholarships are just some examples of work that encourages positive support for children, young people and their families.
We are really excited to hear about as many different exciting projects as possible so please spread the word about the Play Your Part Awards and ensure those making a difference in your community get the recognition they deserve.
In partnership with the Queensland Government (Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, and the Queensland Family and Child Commission), NAPCAN will be running a series of FREE workshops throughout Queensland during 2017.
These interactive workshops will provide essential knowledge for anyone working with children or young people.
We all need to understand how we can play a part in preventing child abuse and neglect in Queensland. By attending these workshops, you will be doing your bit to help protect our children and young people.
Why should you attend NAPCAN’s FREE workshops?
For details about training times and locations, see NAPCAN’s online training calendar. You can search by location, by date, or by workshop type.
Workshops are open to anyone who works either directly or indirectly with children, and it is recommended that as many people as possible attend BOTH workshops, which are being run as part of a roadshow around Queensland:
PLEASE NOTE: These workshops provide important information as part of professional development for people working with children, but are not legally required. The workshops cover the topic of mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect; HOWEVER, the workshops themselves are not mandatory.
See below for more information about the workshops:
Child Safe Organisations – Playing Your Part in Creating Child Safe Organisations
(Delivered in partnership with the Queensland Family and Child Commission)
In light of the Royal Commission we know that it is critical to embed a child safe culture into every single organisation that has anything to do with children or young people, either directly or indirectly. This means that every member of an organisation needs to understand their role in keeping children safe and preventing child abuse and neglect.
This 3-hour interactive workshop covers:
The program also includes templates to help organisations to develop child safe policies and procedures relating to:
Who should attend?
Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention / Mandatory Reporting
This 2.5-hour interactive workshop covers essential knowledge for anyone working with children and young people, particularly those covered by mandatory reporting requirements.
Who should attend?
To register for a free workshop, please go to NAPCAN’s online training calendar.
For more information please contact our Queensland office on:
Phone: 07 3287 3533
Pictured: New Love Bites facilitators at the Coburg training with Anj Barker, respectful relationships advocate.
The Victorian Government recently announced $21.8 million in funding over two years to roll out respectful relationships education to every Victorian student from kindergarten to year 12.
The Respectful Relationships Education in Schools (RREiS) project was piloted in 19 Victorian high schools last year, highlighting that building gender equity into the cultural makeup of a school means looking beyond the curriculum and taking a whole of school approach.
As part of a staged process, all Victorian schools will be supported to implement the whole of school approach, which will involve looking at practices and policies relating to gender and driving meaningful cultural change.
NAPCAN began delivering Love Bites respectful relationship program training in Melbourne in 2014 and our presence in Victoria has been expanding rapidly over the past year, with requests for the Love Bites respectful relationships program at an all time high.
Two Love Bites trainings were completed in Melton and Coburg last month, which now totals six trainings completed in Melbourne the past 12 months, resulting in 79 new facilitators.
At the recent Love Bites training in Coburg, special guest Angela Barker met with the new facilitators. Angela is a passionate and inspirational young woman who after surviving a horrific domestic violence incident, advocates for respectful relationships and campaigns and educates the public on anti-violence. Anj’s story is featured as part of the Love Bites program in the DVD “Loves Me, Loves Me Not”.
NAPCAN are continuing to receive requests for Love Bites training in regional Victoria. If you are interested in attending any of these sessions, please contact Nancy Zhang at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children’s Week was celebrated across the country last week with NAPCAN holding events in both Queensland and across the Northern Territory.
The 2016 theme for Children’s Week was “Children have the right to reliable information from the media” based on Article 17 from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Young People and the Media Q&A Forum held in Queensland was a huge success, providing a platform to discuss the portrayal of children and young people and the importance of hearing their voices in the media. The event was moderated by NAPCAN President, Teresa Scott, with a touching welcome by 11-year-old, Queensland Children’s Week Junior Ambassador, Rosie Sellars.
Our wise and entertaining panelists included Bianca Hunt (university student), Nathan Kearney (4ZZZ), Siyavash Doostkhah (Youth Affairs Network Queensland), Sharna Norman (CREATE Foundation) and Shannon Fentiman (Minister for Child Safety).
Highlights of the discussion included personal examples about damaging stereotypes in the media, and genuine concern about the recent Valuing Children Initiative Benchmark Survey which showed the top five words used by adults to describe children as: spoilt, fortunate, lazy, selfish, and vulnerable. Overall, it was heartening to hear the honest voices of young people and the respectful way that many adults are listening to their needs and recognising the role of the media.
Events for Children’s Week were also held across the Northern Territory, with a total of 13 events taking place in Darwin, Palmerston, Batchelor, Alice Springs, Humpty Doo and Yulara.
The Northern Territory launch of Children’s Week in Darwin was hosted by the Junior Police Rangers in partnership with NAPCAN. A panel of media and youth advocates was asked questions by young people from CREATE Foundation about how children and young people are portrayed in the media. The panel was chaired by the Youth Ambassador for this year’s National Foster and Kinship Care Conference, and comprised the Assistant Minister for Youth Ngaree Ah Kit, Jared Sharp who is a child rights’ lawyer from NAAJA, Felicity James, ABC newsroom journalist and Helen Davidson, NT correspondent for The Guardian. The event also featured a special performance by Upai Purri, a local Torres Strait Islander Youth Dance Troupe.
The event in Yulara invited local children, playgroup mums and bubs and families to participate in the Children’s Voices Project (read more here), asking children to draw or write what they like about their community and what they’d like to change.
A big thank you goes out to all who attended Children’s Week events and contributed to the discussion, especially the children and young people.
Based on Article 17 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
“Children have the right to reliable information from the media”
NAPCAN also believes that:
“Children have the right to be represented in a respectful way in the media”
NAPCAN has developed the Children’s Voices Project which can be downloaded here on our website. It provides a means of asking children what they like and would like to change in their Community. This kit provides a way to hear the voices of children and enable them to participate in meaningful decisions about their physical and social environment.
NAPCAN is also encouraging adults in the NT to consider the following questions and to talk about them with young people:
DARWIN EVENTS 2016
NT Launch of Children’s Week 2016
Friday 21 October 3:30 – 5:30pm
A panel of media and youth advocates will be questioned by young people from Create Foundation, about how children and young people are portrayed in the media. Junior Police Rangers will be hosting the event in partnership with NAPCAN. Upai Purri – a local Torres Strait Islander Youth Dance Troupe, will entertain and delight the audience. ALL WELCOME
Salvation Army Hall, cnr Lee Point Road and Yanyula Drive, Anula
RSVP/Contact: email@example.com or ring Lesley on 0409 099 581
City of Darwin Children’s Art Exhibition
Official Opening: 22 October 9:30 – 11:30am
Saturday 22 October – Friday 28 November 2016 weekdays 8:30am – 5:00pm
The exhibition provides an opportunity for local children to showcase their artistic abilities and creative pursuits.
Council Community Art Space, Civic Centre, Harry Chan Ave Darwin
Contact: 89300561 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Darwin Free Family Fun Morning for children birth to five years and their families
Wednesday 26 October 9:00 – 12:00 noon
Art & craft activities, Fun Bus, jumping castle, petting zoo, story-time, magic show with Hyper the clown, disco with Kevin, free give away and morning tea.
Jingili Water Gardens
Freshwater Road, Jingili
For more information: 89300561 or email@example.com
Our Time to Shine – Daly River students Art Exhibition
28 October – Opening Night 5:00 – 7:00pm
Exhibition open from 28 October to 11 November
An exhibition of works by students from St Francis Xavier School, Daly River.
Celebrating talent in Children’s Week. Proceeds from sale go to Xavier School.
Contact: Andrea Wicking, Event Director 0428 872 367 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Darwin Free Family Fun Afternoon for children birth to twelve years and their families
Saturday 29 October 3:00 – 6:00pm
This very popular annual family event at Darwin Waterfront with waterslide, art and craft activities, Fun in the Parks, storytelling, glitter tattoos, balloon twisting entertainment and lots more.
Darwin Waterfront, Kitchener Drive
Contact: 89 200 600 or email@example.com
PALMERSTON EVENTS 2016
Palmerston Children’s Week Party for children birth to five years and their families
Tuesday 25 October 9:00 – 11:00am
ALL FAMILIES WELCOME to enjoy the face painting, Jumping Castle, Blooming Tunes, animal encounters, story-time, muffin and fruit for the kids. Loads of fun things to do for all ages. Coffee available for purchase.
Palmerston Recreation Centre YMCA, The Boulevard, Palmerston
Contact: 89359922 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Successful Solids by OT for Kids NT
Saturday 22 October 10:00 – 11:00am
Parent workshop with information on development of eating skills, first foods and practical tools for successful start to solids.
OT for Kids NT
5/6 Woodlake Blvd, Durack
Tickets $25.00, available at successfulsolidsoct2016.eventbrite.com.au
BATCHELOR EVENTS 2016
Batchelor Oval National Children’s Week Celebration
Tuesday 25th October 9:30 – 12:00noon
Free fun activities with Smile-A-Mile Fun Bus & Toy Library, Territory Wildlife Park and Early Childhood Australia – badge making, face painting, reptiles, instamatic photos and lots more.
Contact: 8983 2009 or email@example.com
HUMPTY DOO EVENTS 2016
Smile-A-Mile Humpty Doo Children’s Week Celebration
Thursday 27th October
Children’s Week “FARMYARD”.
Join with families from the rural area in huge amounts of fun. Enjoy the Petting Zoo, Jumping Castle, Instamatic Photos, Hobby Horse rides, face painting, jumping castle, free sausage sizzle and loads and loads of fun stuff for everyone.
Humpty Doo Village Green.
85 Challoner Circuit, Humpty Doo
Contact: Jacinta on 8983 2009 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ALICE SPRINGS EVENTS 2016
Wet and Wild Family Fun Day
Saturday 22nd October 2:00 – 5:00pm
Come ready to get wet and colourful. There will be plenty of fun activities for the whole family, including a Family Colour Run, the NT Fire & Rescue Slippery slide, Sandcastle Competition, Face Painting, Art, Make Your Own Boat, and a Free BBQ!
Snow Kenna Park
Contact: Communities for Children on 8951 8002
Alice Springs Children’s Week Art and Photography Exhibition
Monday 24th October Exhibition Launch 4:00 – 6:00pm
Alice Springs Library
Showcasing the skills and talents of Alice Springs children.
For more information: 8951 8012
Alice Springs Gala Dinner celebrating National Children’s Week
Friday 4th November 6:30 – 9:30pm
To celebrate Children’s Week, we are fortunate to have two guest speakers, Ms Megan Mitchell, National Children’s Commissioner and Hon Dale Wakefield Minister for Territory Families to talk about the rights of children.
Earth Sanctuary, Colonel Rose Drive, Alice Springs
Tickets: $68.00. Complimentary sparkling wine on entry. Traditional damper, gourmet BBQ buffet and sticky date pudding.
To register: Elizabeth Flynn 8951 8002
Book online: www.eventbrite.com.au/e/childrens-week-gala-dinner-tickets-28595960287
YULARA EVENTS 2016
Yulara Hears the Voices of Children
Wednesday 26th October 11:00 – 9:00am
Local children, Playgroup mums and bubs, local children and families are all welcome to participate in the Children’s Voices project asking children to draw or write what they like about their Community and what they’d like to change.
NT Manager, NAPCAN
0409 099 581 email@example.com
Media release: 30 September 2016
National child abuse prevention agency, NAPCAN, calls on all Queenslanders to ask themselves how they can play their part in protecting all children.
The death of 12-year-old schoolgirl, Tiahleigh Palmer, is a senseless tragedy that has touched almost every Queenslander and rightfully raised feelings of anger, blame, sadness and helplessness.
But NAPCAN urges Queenslanders to move away from blame and aggressive finger-pointing and to ask ourselves ‘what can I do to play my part in protecting children?’.
Reviews to learn from our mistakes and change how we work with children are important, but the only way we will ever keep children and young people truly safe is to prevent child abuse and neglect before it starts. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has clearly demonstrated that, in spite of organisations’ policies and procedures, perpetrators are still offending. It is clear from this that we need to move beyond formal processes and work towards changing the culture of organisations and communities to ensure that everyone plays their part in keeping children and young people safe.
The sad reality is that Tiahleigh was directly and indirectly failed by many adults during her short life; but rather than focus blame on those people, we need to ask ourselves tough questions about what we would have done, and how we can protect other vulnerable children.
NAPCAN’s National Survey in 2009 showed that less than half of the Australian community would take action to protect a child even when confronted with clear signs of abuse or neglect. This attitude can no longer be tolerated; we need to bring child abuse and neglect into the light, and actively support families, organisations and communities to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.
Unfortunately, we will never be able to bring Tiahleigh back, but we can honour her memory.
We urge all Australians to honour Tiahleigh’s memory by working together to ensure that all children and young people live free from violence, abuse and neglect.
NAPCAN is heartened to see a strong focus on prevention in the policies of the Department of Child Safety under Minister Fentiman, but warns that we can’t rely solely on government agencies to fix these problems.
If it takes a village to raise a child, then the entire village needs to accept some responsibility when a child is abused.
How can you play your part?
Be part of your community – The evidence tells us that social cohesion provides a protective effect for children. This means building communities where there is a sense of belonging, where people know each other, where families are supported, where children are seen and heard, and where everyone plays a part in keeping children safe.
Listen to, and believe, children – When we look at horrific cases of abuse, one of the consistent themes is the how important it is to believe children and to act. What would you do if a child confided in you?
Help to change the conversation – When talking about tragedies such as Tiahleigh’s death, we can all help to move the conversation away from blame and back to ‘what can we do to stop this from happening again?’. We need to all challenge ourselves about our own behaviour. What would I have done? Do I know enough about the signs of child abuse and neglect? How can I look out for children in my community and help to support vulnerable families?
Reach out for help – Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you, or someone you know, needs support. We are fortunate in Queensland to have a range of great hotlines and support numbers including:
For more information about how you can play your part in protecting children, visit www.napcan.org.au.
Helen Fogarty, Media & Communication, NAPCAN: firstname.lastname@example.org, 0410 541 997
Please contact to arrange comment/interviews with:
The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, (NAPCAN) was founded in 1987. NAPCAN’s mission is to support and encourage changes in individual and community behaviour to stop child abuse and neglect before it starts. NAPCAN contributes to the safety and wellbeing of Australia’s children by raising public awareness of child abuse & neglect and by developing effective prevention strategies and programs in partnership with communities.