Centacare has marked National Child Protection Week with a focus on celebrating children and ensuring that their voice is heard and their rights are valued.
Staff were joined by Year One students from St Aloysius College at a special morning tea today, which doubled as the launch of Centacare’s new child rights resources. These include an illustrated booklet and supporting animation.
Aimed at children aged up to 10 years, the resources follow the adventures of three characters – Patch, Pippy and Piper – as they explore their rights, such as their right to feel happy and safe, to understand their culture, and to ask for help when needed.
“At the end of the day, the children’s voice is what really matters; it’s what we strive for to create good environments and good opportunities so you can all grow and achieve your full potential,’’ said Leanne Haddad, Manager, Children’s Services.
“In the words of Dr Seuss, a person’s a person no matter how small they are.
“Your voice matters. We want you to be able to dream big, tell us what you think, and to feel safe and happy – and that is essentially what the video and brochure are all about.’’
Speaking at the event, Deputy Director Pauline Connelly said Child Protection Week was a timely reminder of the joy children bring to our lives.
“Being a grandmother has really helped me to re-engage with what it means to celebrate children,’’ she said.
“It’s reminded me a lot of what I realise I’d forgotten. When we have our own children and we get tired and have routines, work and a lot of other stresses, our time with our children can become exhausting and we can forget what amazing little creatures they are – and how much fun and joy and love we can have with them.
“Child protection week is a special way to remember that, and to think about not just celebrating but how we can grow and nurture and protect the beautiful children that are in our care.’’
Music therapist Lucy May, who is currently on student placement at Malvern Place, sang to the children and guests.
They were given packets of painted daisy seeds by Sally Wellington, Manager of the Archdiocese Child Protection Unit, as a symbol of growth and safety. The initiative will be repeated in parishes this Sunday.
Centacare champions the voice of the child and seeks to implement the Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care to the fullest potential.
National Child Protection Week (September 2-8) is held annually to remind everyone we all have a part to play in protecting children, and that small actions can lead to big improvements in a child’s life.
The enduring message is that protecting children is everyone’s business and urges all Australians to `Play Your Part’.