The phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” is an important one to reflect on as we look back on the events, achievements and awareness generated as Child Protection Week draws to a close for another year.
Queensland has come a long way in keeping kids safe but hard work never stops and with new challenges always present, the notion that it takes a village to raise a child is quite fitting – for protecting children and keeping them more that safe is a shared responsibility and we all have a vital role to play.
As we look back on the Child Protection Week events of 2018 the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) is incredibly proud of the work being done across the sector and community in achieving our shared responsibility.
The momentum of the Child Protection Week continued to build this year and with a number of sold out events it’s a true credit to the organising committee, the media, governments, sector colleagues, community members and of course children and young people. Our collaboration in child protection continues to strengthen.
With big events comes big awareness and the events this year were celebrated state-wide, at local levels and with outstanding participation.
It was a great pleasure for the QFCC to be involved in so many of the events around Queensland, take a look at some of our highlights of the week:
QATSICPP sector development awards – QFCC Principal Commissioner Cheryl Vardon kept busy throughout the week attending a number of events including the inaugural Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Child Protection awards.
“A fantastic night acknowledging excellence in service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child and family support services,” Ms Vardon said.
My Safe Five – QFCC Youth Champion Elloise took over the QFCC Facebook page for Child Protection Week and shared a number of stories, events and personal experiences including one of her favourites, the My Safe Five activity. Elloise and her little ones cut out their hand prints and wrote down the names of five people they would talk to if they were “sacred or sad”. A great conversation starter.
Child Protection Week: Brining and Keeping our Ghundus Home – QFCC Commissioner Phillip Brooks joined 70 Aboriginal leaders at a community forum in Hervey Bay. The group is working together to increase kinship care placements and ongoing community connection for children in out-of-home care.
NAPCAN: Preventing Child abuse Q&A forum – Principal Commissioner Cheryl Vardon presented the 'Play your Part Award' to the Puuya Foundation from Lockhart River for its Kuunchi Kakana Centre & Program. Kuunchi Kakana means ‘Families Together’ which is the perfect name for this community-led, community-run family centre.
Remembrance Day – A day dedicated to those who experienced childhood abuse in institutional settings including out-of-home care. The QFCC acknowledged those who have survived childhood abuse, remembered those who suffered abuse and who are not with us today and paused to give strength to those who have not yet found their voice. In the words of Principal Commissioner Cheryl Vardon “I hope we will continue to see and hear the good work that is being done around Queensland and that the stories of harm, abuse and failings of the past will not continue to influence our future.”
Bravehearts White Balloon Day Gala Dinner – The QFCC joined Bravehearts at its 22nd White Balloon Day Gala Dinner – a night dedicated to protecting children and helping continue the very important job of raising awareness in order to keep all children and young people more than safe.
Child Protection Week awards – QFCC Commissioner Phillip Brooks presented two awards at Parliament House for Child Protection Week, acknowledging the hard work and contribution of those people providing an outstanding service to child protection. Phillip presented the Professional (non-government) award and the Volunteer award and a big congratulations to Jo Bryant and Jan Brown for being recognised in the tireless work you do in order to keep Queensland children more than safe.
QFCC sponsored events – There were so many great events happening around the state and as proud members of the Child Protection Week Committee the QFCC sponsored two events. Our friends in the North celebrated Child Protection Week with a community day at the Mossman Showgrounds with face painting, silent disco, animals, water slides and a very popular Lazertag event. Back in the South East, the Gold Coast hosted a family fun day expo which was packed with entertainment, games, info stalls and the always popular sausage sizzle!