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National Child Protection Week events are taking place across the country from a Pop-Up Playgroup in Western Sydney, a CREATE Celebration Day in Victoria (see the flyer image above), a Child Protection Week Colouring in Competition in Port Augusta, an As Eye See It exhibition in Perth and Sydney which showcases the out-of-home care journey of young people through images and captions; to a ‘Taking Action to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse’ seminar in Queensland with speakers from Griffith Criminology Institute, Life Without Barriers and True Relationships and Reproductive Health.

In Western Australia NAPCAN are hosting in partnership with Anglicare WA a State Play Your Part Awards event morning tea on Thursday 10 September at Foyer Oxford, Leederville. Take a few moments out of your day to hear about Anglicare WA’s ongoing commitment to becoming a safer organisation for children. See how to RSVP and the event details here.

Dr Sue Packer AM, NAPCAN Board Vice President will host the Australian Capital Territory Play Your Part Awards morning tea event on Monday 7 September at the Street Theatre in Canberra. The guest speaker will be Chris Stanilewicz from Women, Youth & Child Health Policy Unit, ACT Health. She will discuss:
building organisational capacity to safeguard children: a child safe, child friendly, child aware coordinating framework for ACT Health. See the RSVP and event details.

Register your National Child Protection Week event here.

The positive benefits of making rap music and videos about issues that matter to young people in regional Indigenous communities is demonstrated by Desert Pea Media – the 2013 NAPCAN NSW Play Your Part award recipient.

The contemporary storytelling organisation has grown its output to produce 33 rap videos since 2014. The creation of the songs, videos and performance is led by young people and guided by a group of experienced Desert Pea Media community artists.

The organisation creates a dialogue with communities through storytelling, music and film about issues such as domestic violence and mental health.

Watch the video – Bush Mob Crew ‘Know your Rights’ which was made in Alice Springs in May.

The visual story and song is performed by young Indigenous people about knowing their rights when engaging with the law.  Made with the support of the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid service (Ashurst Lawyers, Alice Springs Town Council and UN Ltd), the song and video is about how to operate in the police and judicial system in a positive way.

Toby Finlayson founded Desert Pea media when he was 19 years-of-age, (14 years ago), to create change through storytelling, in a non-confrontational way, to create a more respectful and inclusive popular culture for everyone in Australia.

“Indigenous people are some of the most marginalised in Australia so it makes sense to predominately work in Indigenous communities, but we’ll work anywhere where dialogue and education is needed around social and cultural issues,” said Mr Finlayson.

There are three other videos in post-production at the moment. Two were made with Mission Australia in Dubbo and Wellington in New South Wales and the other in the Indigenous community of Maningrida, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.

Toby Finlayson, Creative Director of Desert Pea media, said that the theme for the videos made in Dubbo and Wellington was mental health for young people and will be released during mental health week.

“My father is a psychologist, he was part of the project which focused on dealing with mental health and suicide,” he said.

The creation of the music and visual storytelling involves a collaboration with community members, young people, service providers, elders and Desert Pea staff and is also part of a mentoring program for young people.

“It’s about trust and adhering to cultural protocols so everyone’s comfortable and respected. We work with elders and the community first.” The Tin Town Trackers – ‘Bringin it Back’ video, is about issues affecting young people in the Indigenous community in Coonamble, NSW, such as cultural re-engagement, leadership, and drug and alcohol abuse. The video took five days to write record and shoot and was made in partnership with Medicare Local Western NSW.

“For the songwriting process we consulted with community leaders, elders and service providers to identify issues.”

Mr Finlayson said that his team creates a discussion with young people looking into the ‘real’ and ‘ideal’. “What are the steps to get from where we are to where we want to be?”

The Desert Pea artists ask the locals about what’s going on in the community and the effects of issues such as family violence, relationships and mental health. The points are written on a whiteboard and the young people work with Desert Pea staff to turn the points into a narrative.

“We offer ideas, the young people direct and we work together to put it into lyric form, then we record it.”

Desert Pea Media producers bring a ‘skeleton beat’, a groove that creates a rhythm to write the lyrics to, the producers then spend many hours to polish and arrange the compositions in post production.

“Many young people are all shy to start with.

“There’s a big shame factor for lots of Indigenous kids, it’s basically debilitating.

“We try to make them feel comfortable, respected and safe in this creative environment.”

The Desert Pea Media Creative Director said that is was a real honour to be recognised with a Play Your Part Award for the achievements for young people.

“It’s a difficult space – mental health and domestic violence, which are serious issues for individuals and communities.

“To have a positive impact on young people with our work is really inspiring.”

The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Some systems set Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people up to fail such as education, health, employment and the legal system which are not tailored for them.

“Our process is to set them up to succeed.

“Sometimes this is the first time where they’re supported to do what they want to do, that opportunity is life changing, leading to kids attending school regularly, stronger relationships, engaging better with teachers and creating a stronger community.”

He said that it’s obvious to community members and to us to, that young people grow through the process, ‘especially for them to see the videos and see how amazing they really are’.

Desert Pea’s next rap video project will be in Moree working with a grassroots men’s group for an adult, cultural program. The company is looking for more projects for 2015 people so are calling for communities to contact them.

This year’s NSW Play Your Part award recipients will be announced next Friday 4 September at the launch of National Child Protection Week by His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd).

Webtools are resources that you can download and place on your website or on your email to raise awareness of the 2015 National Child Protection Week. These are free to download.

  • to upload a 2015 National Child Protection Week graphic for your email signature – select the 468 x 60 banner
  • for outlook users’ email signature graphic – select the 728 x 113 banner – see image below
  • for a horizontal web banner the 728 x 90 size
  • for a vertical version download the 120 x 600 size

The above banners and the 2015 logos are all available from NAPCAN’s National Child Protection Week’s web resources.

To download simply right click on the web banners then choose ‘save as’ to store them to your computer or devices.

If you do use the web tools to promote National Child Protection Week please let us know and any queries please email: ncpw@napcan.org.au

NAPCAN thanks you for supporting National Child Protection Week.

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Above is a email signature banner for outlook users.


NAPCAN is happy to announce the launch of the 2015 National Child Protection Week colouring in sheet, download it today.

The scene on the colouring in sheet represents a close knit community demonstrating that protecting children is everyone’s business.

Be someone who listens to children is a theme of the 2015 National Child Protection Week poster, which links to the colouring in sheet asking children to identify who they like talking with, by filling in: “I like it when _________ listens to me”.

“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.

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.

NAPCAN is happy to announce the release of the 2015 National Child Protection Week (6  to 12 September) posters, which can be downloaded.

2015 NCPW Protecting Children is Everyone's Business

Be someone who listens to children is the core message of this year’s National Child Protection week poster.

The Protecting Children is Everyone’s Business poster, designed to be displayed year round, demonstrates that to prevent child abuse and neglect we can all play a part.

Parents, an aunt/uncle, friends, health practitioner and local business are featured with advice on how to offer support to children and families, such as for local businesses to ‘promote a family friendly environment’ and that it’s OK for parents to ‘reach out, ask for support and take time out’.

To receive a copy of both posters please email: ncpw@napcan.org.au with the subject “NCPW 2015 poster request” and include the mailing address.

If you would like more than one copy of each poster, (the cost is free) please email: Madelene McGrath (madelene.mcgrath@napcan.org.au) with the subject “Bulk Order 2015 NCPW Posters”. Make sure to include how many posters you would like and the mailing address.

Please spread the word about National Child Protection Week, for more information: http://napcan.org.au/ncpw/.

NAPCAN is pleased to announce the launch of our online training calendar. The calendar allows you to view the dates of events, create an account, register for training sessions, make payments and receive receipts.

You can access the calendar here or go to on ‘Our Programs‘ on the NAPCAN home page, then clicking on the ‘visit website’ icon under the NAPCAN Training Calendar heading.

If you have any questions, please contact us on 07 3287 3533 or via email (contact@napcan.org.au) and we will be happy to help.

A Love Bites participant’s poster

NAPCAN’s National Programs Manager, Trudi Peters spoke on ABC radio’s 702 Mornings with Linda Mottram program today about the need for more investment in education programs about domestic violence and respectful relationships for young people.

As the announcement was made today that NSW high schools will teach students about domestic violence, Ms Peters spoke about the high demand from schools for NAPCAN’s Love Bites program – a relationship violence and sexual assault prevention workshop.

“We get requests constantly across the country for the Love Bites program, that would suggest there is a major gap in this education.”

The interactive program targets year nine and 10 school students, and teaches them about respectful relationships and consent.

“It’s great to talk about domestic violence with young people, but we need to talk about how to have respectful relationships and make good choices about relationships”

The manager of Love Bites said that the school’s curriculum, needs to go beyond recognising domestic violence, but to focus on young people’s relationships, be strengths based and facilitators need to to be skilled in this area.

The state education reforms were sparked by a letter written to the NSW government by a 14-year-old girl, weeks after the suicide death of her mother, who asked them to help educate children about domestic violence and how to seek help.

Listen to the ABC 702 interview.

Nominate someone you know for Victoria’s Child Protection Awards

Do you know someone who works tirelessly to keep children and young people safe from harm?

Celebrate their efforts by nominating them for the 2015 Robin Clark Protecting Children Awards.

The new and improved 2015 Award categories are open to individuals, teams or groups who work in the Department of Health & Human Services child protection program; other public service organisations; Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) and community service organisations; education; and academia unless stated otherwise.

This year’s awards offer an exciting new platform that combines the recognition of the Robin Clark Memorial Awards and Protecting Children Awards of previous years, bringing together workers across the vast and varied spectrum of child protection and family services.

Nominations close on Monday 29 June and winners will be announced at the Robin Clark Protecting Children Awards ceremony held on 8 September to launch Child Protection Week in Victoria.

This year will see the introduction of the prestigious Robin Clark Leadership Award – created in memory of the visionary Robin Dennis Clark who greatly influenced child and family related policy and practice in Victoria.

National Child Protection week will run from 6 – 12 September, led by the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, and promote the key message: “Play Your Part – protecting children is everyone’s business”.

For further information about the awards and categories, and to nominate visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/childprotectionweek.