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Children’s Week is a great time to remind ourselves about the importance of putting the safety and wellbeing of children at the centre of our decision making.

NAPCAN’s new PLAY YOUR PART Commitment Statement is designed to be printed out, signed, and displayed to send a clear message about how we treat and interact with children.

The wording is suitable for anyone who interacts with children in any way – as a member of a family or community, as a volunteer, or in the workplace. Ideally it can also be included as part of an organisation’s induction materials in order to develop a whole-of-organisation commitment to put children’s wellbeing at their centre of their work.

Download by clicking here and sign the Commitment Statement today!

Did you know that you can help a baby’s brain develop just by talking?

In fact, research suggests that the more words and concepts a baby is exposed to (even when they are just a newborn!), the better their brain will develop, and the better they will do in reading and cognitive tests as they grow up.

The key messages of the Talk to Your Baby campaign are:

  • A baby’s brain triples in size during the first three years of life. So every little thing we do during that time plays an important part in that child’s development.
  • Look for every opportunity to talk, read and sing with your baby. Be expressive, be loving, and talk about everything around you so that your child is exposed to as many different conversations as possible.
  • Talking to babies does not come naturally to everyone, and most people will need some encouragement and ideas. Families and carers may never have been told how important it is to talk with very young children, they may not have been raised that way, or they may have other things on their minds.
  • We can all play our part by talking to babies and young children, and by reminding parents how important this is, and giving them ideas and tips to get them into the habit.
  • Lots of talk from loving adults also builds healthy relationships, social skills, and attachment and we know that that can help build resilience in a child.

View the clip on YouTube.

Download the Media Release (PDF)

Based on Article 29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child:

“Your education should help you use and develop your talents and abilities. It should also help you learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people.”

Parent ‘Child Safety and Wellbeing Survey’

We would like to know how we can better support families and communities in raising happy, healthy and safe children. And we want to hear from YOU. Please answer this short survey so we can learn about what matters most to families in supporting them to raise their children. Your responses will be confidential and no identifying information will be used.


NT Launch of Children’s Week 2017
Friday 20 October 3:15 -5.15pm
Details to come
Wulagi Primary School
24 Brolga Street, Wulagi
RSVP/Contact: Meron Looney on meron.looney@napcan.org.au or 0411 737 630

City of Darwin Children’s Art Exhibition
Official Opening:  21 October 9:30 – 11:30am

On display Monday 23 October – Friday 24 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 t.sellars@darwin.nt.gov.au

A week of free activities for children and their mums 
Monday 23 October – Friday 26 October
Learn how to make playdoh, spice up old clothes and pillow cases by tie-dyeing, beat the heat with water play and more!
Closed sessions for mums and children at Darwin Aboriginal and Islander Women’s Shelter.
For more information: 8945-2284 or natalie-cw@daiws.org.au
See the poster for this event

Darwin Free Family Fun Morning for children birth to five years and their families
Wednesday 25 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 t.sellars@darwin.nt.gov.au
See the poster for this event

Darwin Free Family Fun Afternoon and evening for children one to twelve years and their families
Saturday 28 October
3:00 – 6:00pm
Darwin Waterfront activities with waterslide, Float and Play in the Lagoon, art and craft activities, Archery Attack and lots more.

6.00 – 7.00pm
Express Studios Darwin: demonstration and workshop on breakdancing and hiphop.

Movie Inside Out: Bring along blankets or chairs and relax on the Waterfront lawns under the stars with family and friends.
Darwin Waterfront, Kitchener Drive
For more information: 89300561 or t.sellars@darwin.nt.gov.au
See the poster for these events


Palmerston Children’s Week Party for children birth to five years and their families
Tuesday 24 October 9:00 – 11:00am
ALL FAMILIES WELCOME to enjoy join in the fun for all ages. Coffee available for purchase.
Palmerston Recreation Centre, The Boulevard, Palmerston
Contact: 8932 1700 or kylie.grainger@ntschools.net
See the poster for this event


Batchelor Oval National Children’s Week Celebration
Tuesday 25th October 9:30 – 12:00noon
Free fun activities for children and families – EVERYONE WELCOME
Batchelor Oval
Contact: Batchelor Area School 8976 0077


Smile-A-Mile Humpty Doo Children’s Week Celebration
Thursday 26th October
Lots of fun activities for children and families.
Humpty Doo Village Green.
85 Challoner Circuit, Humpty Doo
Contact: Jacinta on 8983 2009 or toys@smileamile.org.au
See the poster for this event


Wet and Wild in Alice Springs
Saturday 21st October 9.00am – 2.00pm
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 Slip’n’Slide, Face Painting, Arts and crafts, Kites, Reading Circle with Booka the Library Dog and a Free BBQ!
Snow Kenna Park (next to ANZAC Oval)
Contact: Communities for Children on 8951 8000
See the poster for this event

2017 Children and Youth Art Exhibition
Monday, 23rd October 5.00 pm
The young people of Alice Springs  have been engaged in creating diverse works in response to some questions:
What makes you HAPPY?
What makes you feel SAFE?
What would make Alice a BETTER PLACE?
Their creative works will be displayed at Alice Springs Public Library.
Mayor Damien Ryan will open the Exhibition on the 23rd at 5.00 pm and it will run until November 17th
Contact: Communities for Children on 8951 8000
See the poster for this event

Craft and Activities at Yeperenye Shopping Centre
Friday 27th October 10.00am – 1.00pm
Come along and have some good fun with the kids during your shopping time.
Some Activities from the Toy Library and craft from Early Childhood Australia Inclusion Agency will be available in the open area near the Food Court. Give yourself some extra time and join in with your kids making something or just having FUN.
Contact: Communities for Children on 8951 8000

See the poster for these Alice Springs events

Feel free to download the National Children’s Week Poster and use it to promote your event.


Read the Children’s Week message from the Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove

Read the Children’s Week message from the National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell


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 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.