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The local Indigenous community in Broken Hill NSW including young people, elders and community members collaborated with Desert Pea Media and Warra Warra Legal service to create a unique dialogue-based songwriting project to address domestic violence in their community.

Broken Hill NSW was recently identified as having one of the highest rates of domestic violence in NSW. The local Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Legal Service determined that the best way to tackle the issue was to create more dialogue and education. With the support of local elder Uncle Willy Riley, the group spent 5 days discussing where family violence comes from, and how they might deal with it as a community to create a safer, happier place.

The ‘Speak 2 Heal’ project  is a call to arms to speak up about family violence wherever you encounter it. To be proud of your community, speak up every time and look out for each other.


NAPCAN welcomes the Third Action Plan 2015-18, under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020, which was launched on 9 December.

The Third Action Plan marks an important ongoing commitment of Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments in partnership with non-government organisations to address and prevent child abuse and neglect.

Launching the Third Action Plan the Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter said, “It is vital we do everything we can to improve the safety, wellbeing and health of our children.”

“Through this plan we aim to get better information to parents about the first 1000 days of a child’s life and why they are so important. This includes providing practical advice to expectant parents to get them ready for the responsibilities ahead of them, advice to new parents about how to support their child’s development and where to go to get help” said Mr Porter.

NAPCAN endorses this commitment to assisting parents in the challenging and rewarding task of raising children.

NAPCAN CEO Richard Cooke said, “The increased focus on getting better information to parents and the community about the developmental needs in the first 1000 days of a child’s life is critical in improving the safety and wellbeing of our children.”

“It takes village to raise a child and communities must be resourced and empowered to be able to assist families to thrive. We look forward to working together to increase the safety and wellbeing of all children.”

Key areas of work in the Third Action Plan will be:

  • prevention and early intervention so children are safe and well and families receive support when they need it, especially in the first thousand days of a child’s life,
  • better supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities to help reduce the number of children in need of child protection services,
  • increasing support for young people in out-of-home care to help them move to independence,
    and building child-safe organisations.

NAPCAN is pleased to be participating in the implementation of this plan with all levels of Government and the NGO partners.

For more information go to: www.dss.gov.au/protectingaustraliaschildren.

Our offices are closed from 24 December 2015 and reopen on 4 January 2016.

The NAPCAN team wishes you a safe and happy holiday.

We look forward to working with you to promote the safety and wellbeing of children in 2016.

A message from Malcolm Turnbull, marking White Ribbon Day and the beginning of the 16 Days of Action. The 16 Days of Action is a global campaign to end violence against women held from 25 November to 10 December, 2015.  

Violence against women is an endemic problem in Australia. The latest research indicates that one in five women will experience sexual violence, one in four experiences emotional abuse and one in three experiences physical violence.  

Richard Cooke, NAPCAN CEO said “Domestic and family violence is unacceptable and we must work together to prevent serious harm to children and their families” 

“NAPCAN commends White Ribbon on their efforts to increase community awareness and action around this issue. To end the epidemic of violence we need to begin investing in prevention initiatives today.”

“NAPCAN works closely with frontline services and schools to deliver respectful relationship education aiming to achieve generational shifts on this issue. We are committed to working with our partners to create a safer future for all our children.”

Prevention starts with each of us today. Together we can make Australia safer for all children, their families and communities. To get involved in this campaign, or to find White Ribbon events taking place near you, visit the White Ribbon website.

Last night saw a Gala dinner take place in Alice Springs to launch Children’s Week.
The event was held amongst the beautiful bush setting of the Olive Pink Botanical Gardens. Over 80 people attended, and the guest speaker was Ms Colleen Gwynne, the Children’s Commissioner of the NT.
Other events being held as part of Children’s Week include Family Fun Events, art exhibitions, playgroups and more. To view the full list of events, please click here.
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Children’s Week was launched today at an event hosted by the Junior Police Rangers. Minister Peter Styles (Minister for Young Territorians) opened the event and special guest speakers included Ms Colleen Gwynne (Children’s Commissioner of the NT) and Katrina Fong Lim (Lord Mayor).

Following a Welcome to Country by Larrakia Woman Jeaneen McLennan, several of the Junior Police Rangers spoke about what community meant to them and what is important in those communities to make them “child friendly”. This was followed by musical entertainment from 13 year old Phoebe Wear.

The launch was a great success enjoyed by all.


A 2015 NAPCAN NSW Play Your Part Award recipient, the Immigrant Women’s Health Service (IWHS), is looking for participants to take part in a short film – an educational resource about forced marriage.

The topic is close to the heart of the Service’s CEO, as she was forced to be a child bride as a 14-year-old living in Egypt. Today she devotes herself to raising awareness about this issue in Australia.

The short film is aimed for young people aged between 12-18 years about forced marriage and child brides. The IWHS are looking for people to take part preferably from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background to participate in focus groups in the first two weeks of October, translators will be available.

The service are looking for participants who meet the following criteria:

·         Mothers who have daughters between the ages of 12-18

·         Daughters between the ages of 12-18

The goal is to ensure that the issues raised in the film reflect real life issues of women and girls who may be at risk of becoming child brides in a forced marriage.  If you, or someone you know is interested, please email: ceo@immigrantwomenshealth.org.au or sign up at: http://www.immigrantwomenshealth.org.au/get-involved.html.

Pictured is the Immigrant Women’s Health Service CEO 

The Children’s Safety Study, commissioned by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, is calling for young people aged between 10 – 18 to take part in an online survey.

The Australian Survey for Kids and Young People (ASK-YP) researchers are investigating what children and young people believe they need to be and feel safe in institutions, such as schools, sports teams, camps, church groups, hospitals, and other youth services and programs.

In 2014, researchers from ACU, UQ and Griffith University spoke to over 120 children and young people aged from four to 18 about safety and have come up with a list of recommendations that are perceived to be essential for keeping kids safe.

The ASK-YP survey will test out those ideas with children and young people to ascertain how well institutions are performing in keeping kids safe and responding when they’re not.

The findings are designed to assist the sector to better meet the needs of children and young people and deal with any gaps that might emerge.

The national survey is anonymous and parental consent is required. To find out more and access the survey or email: askyp@acu.edu.au.

As part of National Child Protection Week, a colouring in competition was held for children at the Community Centre in Weipa, as well as local community schools in Napranum and Mapoon in Far North Queensland.

The colouring sessions provided a platform to talk about child safety, with children identifying who they felt safe with and who they could talk to if they needed help with anything.



NAPCAN was impressed with the calibre of nominations for the Play Your Part Awards and proud to award the 17 recipients for playing their part to promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people, through inspiring initiatives including the South East Integrated Family Support Services in Tasmania, a voluntary program that works with vulnerable children, young people and families across the state.

One of their clients was a teenage mother on the streets of Hobart, who now has a home with her two children. “I nearly lost everything, my kids and my health, but now I’ve done the hard yards and I’m on the road to recovery.”

The Malabam Health Board Aboriginal Corporation, received a Northern Territory award for the “GREATS” Youth Service initiative which promotes strong peer and family relationships; self-esteem, resilience and social connections in the Aboriginal Community, which ‘is staffed by our community mob’, said Noeletta McKenzie, manager of GYS. In the past three years Maningrida community has not been affected by any youth suicides, a significant achievement in a complex environment.

The National Individual Play Your Part Award went to Amrit Versha for being an inspiring advocate for children’s safety and wellbeing in the migrant and refugee community. Amrit Versha knew no one when she arrived in Australia 27 years ago. She has since committed herself to ensuring migrant women, children and families don’t feel alone but are supported, empowered and connected to their community.

Two other National Play Your Part Awards went to Kids Helpline and Optus for the Kids Helpline @ School program and the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre and collaborators for Lawmail, Lawstuff and Online Safety.

The South Coast Child Wellbeing Network and the Immigrant Women’s Health Service received their New South Wales Play Your Part Awards at a ceremony at Juniper Hall, Sydney which featured the As Eye See It exhibition. The photographs and stories displayed expressed the view of the world by children and young people in out-of-home care as part of National Child Protection Week community events.

The South Coast Child Wellbeing Network was formed under the ethos that Protecting Children is Everyone’s Business. The network joined together to promote the wellbeing and safety of children and young people as a community responsibility in an area with a  significant number of vulnerable families.

The Immigrant Women’s Health Service were recognised for the Multicultural Parenting Project. The CEO of the Immigrant Women’s Health Service, said that the Project “educates children by teaching parents which in fact educates the nation”. Congratulations to the Play Your Part Award recipients. Read about the Inspiring Prevention Initiatives from each State and Territory that were recognised by NAPCAN in 2015.

Pictured are the NSW Play Your Part Award recipients, from left Johanne Sneddon and Samantha Lukey from the South Coast Child Wellbeing Network, Anna Richardson an original member of the Network’s working party and Audrey Lai, the Management Committee Chair of the Board of the Immigrant Women’s Health Service.