National Child Protection Week aims to engage, educate, and empower Australians to understand the complexity of child abuse and neglect, and work together to prevent it. The campaign does this through the sharing of events and resources to encourage communities to engage in conversations around children’s safety and wellbeing.
This year’s theme is:
Every child, in every community, needs a fair go.
To treat all of Australia’s children fairly, we need to make sure every family and community has what kids need to thrive and be healthy.
As a diocese, our goal when it comes to child protection is to always recognise and uphold the dignity and rights of all children and vulnerable adults, in-line with the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle’s abiding commitment to their safety, welfare, and wellbeing.
What’s happening in our primary schools?
This year, we’re inviting students in our primary schools to consider who their safety network is:
5 trusted adults you can talk to about anything.
5 trusted adults who will always listen.
To help spread this message to our students and community, we’re asking our schools to work with students to create a “wall of hands” in a prominent location onsite at their school. These hands will feature each child’s safety network, with a different trusted adult listed on each finger.
The purpose of this experience is to encourage students to think about who they can trust and open the conversation about what it means to feel safe and secure. We encourage our parents and carers to discuss this concept with their children at home to extend their experience.
What’s happening in our secondary schools?
This year, we’re inviting students in our secondary schools to design a piece of art that represents what it means to feel safe and secure.
The top five entries will receive:
- a $50 voucher each; and
- the opportunity for their art to be featured across Aurora Magazine, Diocesan social media channels, and Diocesan email banners.
The purpose of this experience is to foster our students’ understandings of the importance of child protection and to open the conversation about what it means to feel safe and secure.
We ask that you share this competition with your children or students and encourage them to get involved.
Download the competition details and design template here.
What’s happening in our Early Education centres
This year, we’re encouraging our St Nicholas Early Education centres to get involved using the information and resources provided in the ‘Child Empowerment Program’, developed by Lochinvar Centre Director, Georgina Oakenfull.
The aim of the program is to empower children with the skills and knowledge for them to help keep themselves safe.
For more information on the Child Empowerment Program, contact your local St Nicholas Early Education centre.
The role of parents/carers
We invite parents and carers from across our schools and Early Education centres to share the above initiatives with your children and encourage them to get involved.
We also encourage the broader community to visit officeofsafeguarding.org.au/national-child-protection-week and use the resources available to support your children to stay safe.
For any questions or concerns relating to National Child Protection Week 2021, please contact:
Sophie Dougherty – Investigator, Prevention & Response Service (Office of Safeguarding)
(02) 4979 1390
Connie Peate – Investigator, Prevention & Response Service (Office of Safeguarding)
(02) 4979 1390