With the launch of the annual National Child Protection Week 2017, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, invites all Australians to join together as a team to keep our children safe and nurtured.

National Child Protection Week will run from Fathers’ Day Sunday 3 September to 9 September with a range of campaigns, events, and announcements to support the prevention of child abuse and neglect, and remind us that protecting children is everyone’s business.

Sir Peter explains, “This means being part of strong and caring communities.  It means listening to children, giving them a voice and speaking up for them. It means never walking by or turning a blind eye when something isn’t right.”

Sir Peter also reminds us that the little things we do today, matter to a child’s life tomorrow.

“This National Child Protection Week I urge everyone to remember back to your own childhood, think about the things that mattered to you, and resolve to make a difference to a child’s life for today and the future.”

NAPCAN Deputy CEO, Leesa Waters, urges Australians to start thinking about child abuse as a problem that can be prevented rather than a problem to be fixed after the fact.

“Australians are familiar with the concept of prevention in relation to public health and safety issues such as car accidents, but may never have considered child abuse in the same way.”

“But if we can reduce road fatalities with changes to legislation and community campaigns, we can do the same with child abuse and neglect.”

“Most people are surprised to learn that approximately 1 in 33 children (more than 45,000) are the victims of substantiated child abuse each year in Australia.”

“And these are just the ones that are severe enough to reach the high threshold required to be picked up by the statutory child protection system. Hundreds of thousands more children have less than optimal lives but are not counted in these alarming statistics.”

“However, we know that these rates of abuse are not inevitable. There is clear evidence that much of this abuse is preventable.”

“Our aim is to encourage governments, service providers, and the broader community to direct resources and efforts into prevention, so that all children are
 valued, nurtured and able to live free from violence, abuse and neglect.”

According to NAPCAN, proven strategies for preventing child abuse and neglect include:

  • Building strong communities where everyone understands their role in protecting children
  • Valuing children and advocating for their rights, and for their voices to be heard
  • Expanding and improving coordination of social services
  • Educating families about child behaviour, discipline, safety and development
  • Creating organisations that are child safe and child friendly.

National Child Protection Week will include the presentation of NAPCAN’s Play Your Part Awards which honour individuals, communities and organisations that carry out inspiring and effective actions promoting child safety and wellbeing across the country, from rural communities to inner cities, from our suburbs to the outback.

The National Awards will be presented by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove at Government House, Canberra on Thursday 31 August from 12:00pm to 1:00pm at the launch of National Child Protection Week 2017.

State Awards will be presented at events throughout the country.

For information about National Child Protection Week events, or to get involved with the campaign, visit www.napcan.org.au.


Media Contact:
Helen Fogarty 0410 541997

Interviews available with:
Lesley Taylor, National Manager Prevention Strategies, NAPCAN
Leesa Waters, Deputy CEO, NAPCAN

If you would like to view the audio for the campaign, please click here.

NAPCAN (National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) is Australia’s only peak body dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. For more information about NAPCAN’s work, and National Child Protection Week, visit www.napcan.org.au.


Related resources and announcements:

NAPCAN will also be launching the following resources as part of National Child Protection Week:

The Continuum of Wellbeing Film: 3-minute film by NAPCAN outlining the concept of the continuum of wellbeing. This concept is important to our work because it underpins the importance of prevention and reminds us that child abuse and neglect is not inevitable. The film highlights the many opportunities for community, families and services to play their part in protecting children, before it’s too late. The film will be distributed widely on social media and website, and played at NCPW events. You can view the film on YouTube here.

Prevention Summary Paper: This National Child Protection Week NAPCAN and AIFS have joined together to further explore and promote the concept of prevention. This joint paper provides the foundation for ongoing discussion and research about prevention – what it is, the different types, how it works, and how to communicate these important messages to encourage investment, shift public thinking, and engage the whole community as a team in keeping children safe from harm. Available at www.napcan.org.au from 3 September.

To download a copy of this media release as a PDF, please click here

This National Child Protection Week, NAPCAN and AIFS have joined together to further explore and promote the concept of prevention. This joint paper provides the foundation for ongoing discussion and research about prevention – what it is, the different types, how it works, and how to communicate these important messages to encourage investment, shift public thinking, and engage the whole community as a team in keeping children safe from harm.

Download your copy of the paper

This National Child Protection Week, NAPCAN is proud to be launching a short 3-minute film outlining the concept of the continuum of wellbeing. This concept is important to our work because it underpins the importance of prevention and reminds us that child abuse and neglect is not inevitable, and that there are many opportunities for everyone in the the community to help protect children.

Overview of Continuum of Wellbeing Film

  • We all have a role to play in the protection of children, and this can best be described with, what we call, the Continuum of Wellbeing.  
  • On one end of the continuum we have CHILD SAFE FAMILIES happy/healthy families where children are loved, nurtured and protected.
  • On the other end of the continuum we the tragic stories of child abuse and neglect. We often read about these as newspaper headlines and wonder ‘how did it get to that point; where were all the people could have helped before it was too late?’.
  • Child abuse can be a one off incident but it tends to be a series of events that get more and more serious over time – an ever increasing, more serious sequence of events that may get steadily worse over time to reach the threshold of abuse or neglect.
  • That threshold is defined by laws in every State and Territory and defines the point at which child protection services have the right to intervene and make decisions about a child’s safety with or without the parents’ permission. Child protection services cannot take action unless the circumstances are so serious that a child is no longer safe with their family.
  • This means that everything that happens before that threshold becomes an opportunity for you and I to take action.






Click the buttons below to access the National Child Protection Week Communications Kit and the Dropbox folder which contains banners, videos, logos and social media tools including top tips.



Poster 1: ‘Stronger communities, safer children’

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.”


Poster 2: ‘The little things you do today… matter to a child’s tomorrow’

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!

To download this information as a PDF and for more information on how you can Play Your Part, click here

Place your order for NCPW posters, sign up to our mailing list here or to place a bulk order (for more than one copy of each poster) click here.

(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.


  • The winner will receive a $200 gift voucher!
  • We also have four $50 gift vouchers for the runners up.
  • You’ll also get credit wherever your artwork is mentioned.

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:

  • Listening to children’s ideas and opinions
  • Things adults can do to support children and young people
  • What a safe community looks like to you
  • Ways to help families who need it
  • Activities and places that are important to children and young people
  • People in your community who you can turn to for help
  • How to get help if you need it
  • What you like most about your neighbourhood


  • Draw or paint your artwork on A3 paper (can be landscape or portrait).
  • Your artwork should use pictures rather than words (if you need a few words, that’s ok but no more than four please).
  • Your artwork should follow the theme outlined above and should be a positive image (i.e. not mean or scary).
  • Email a digital photo of your artwork to Madelene.McGrath@napcan.org.au with the subject ‘NCPW 2017 Artwork’. Make sure you keep the original of your artwork because we will need it if you win a prize.

DEADLINE:  5pm Friday 28 April 2017

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

If you have any questions, please contact:
Madelene McGrath
National Stakeholder Manager
Mobile: 0408 914971
Email: Madelene.McGrath@napcan.org.au

Download PDF Flyer

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.

Nominations close Tuesday 4 April 2017 and the recipients of the Play Your Part Awards will be announced in National Child Protection Week, 3rd – 9th September 2017.


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?

  • High quality workshops
  • Run by skilled facilitators with extensive experience in child protection
  • Important knowledge for anyone working with children, directly or indirectly
  • Great for professional development and your CV
  • FREE training which would usually only be available for a fee (approx. $300 pp)
  • Workshops capped at 30 people – BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL
  • FREE support resources included on USB

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:

  • Child Safe Organisations Workshop (for all employees/volunteers to learn about their part in creating safe organisations for children, and preventing abuse before it occurs)
  • Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention / Mandatory Reporting Workshop (for all employees/volunteers who work with children to ensure that they understand their responsibilities in identifying and reporting abuse)

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:

  • Background of child safe organisation development
  • Establishing and maintaining a child safe culture
  • Child inclusive practice
  • How to create child safe and friendly environments
  • Key elements of a child safe organisation
  • Introducing the more than safe sector commitment statement.  

The program also includes templates to help organisations to develop child safe policies and procedures relating to:

  • Complaints Processes
  • Code of Conduct
  • Child Safety Policies
  • Recruitment
  • Organisational Audit

Who should attend?

  • This is a brand new workshop designed to help all organisations to keep children and young people safe.
  • You should attend this workshop if you work in an organisation that deals directly or indirectly with children.
  • All members of the organisation need to attend because we all have a responsibility to help create a culture of child safety in your organisation.
  • You are encouraged to attend this workshop even if you are already attending a another NAPCAN workshop about mandatory reporting.

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.

Topics covered:

  • Roles and responsibilities in the prevention of child abuse and neglect
  • Legislative roles and responsibilities in relation to reporting child abuse and neglect (i.e. mandatory reporting)
  • Organisational/individual responsibility in responding to early indicators of harm and family support needs
  • Definitions of child abuse and neglect including recognising harm indicators and child/family risk and protective factors
  • How to respond to disclosures of child abuse and neglect
  • Prevention strategies and practices.

Who should attend?

  • This workshop covers essential knowledge for anyone who has anything to do with children and young people either indirectly or directly.
  • Important for all employees and volunteers.
  • If you work in early childhood education and care, you may like to attend one of the ECEC workshops also listed on this training calendar. However, if the ECEC workshops are already booked out or not in your area, please attend this workshop instead (it covers much the same content but less specific to ECEC).


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

Email: pypqld@napcan.org.au


Qld gov logo supported by


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 nancy.zhang@napcan.org.au.