The need for everyone to play their part in ensuring the safety of children and young people was highlighted at a Child Protection Week breakfast this morning hosted by the Catholic Archbishop of Perth.
National Child Protection Week is a reminder that children and young people have the right to be safe and to be protected from abuse and that everyone in the community is responsible for ensuring that this right is upheld.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Perth is the first Australian Catholic diocese to establish the role of Safeguarding Officers within the church. These people are responsible for promoting child protection and proactive behaviours within the church community.
As part of my role at this morning’s breakfast I was pleased to announce the Western Australian winner in the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect awards.
These awards recognise individuals or organisations who are creating safer environments for children.
The Western Australian winner for 2016 is Safe Clubs 4 Kids, an educational project that aims to create safe environments for children involved in sport and recreation, by raising awareness, creating behaviour change and normalising the topic of child safety.
The project is a collaboration led by the WA Sports Federation and delivered in partnership with the Department of Sport and Recreation, WA Police Child Abuse Squad, the Working with Children Screening Unit at the Department for Child Protection and Family Support and Surf Lifesaving WA.
To date, Safe Clubs 4 Kids information has been provided to over 75,000 state sporting associations and industry representative organisations that support clubs with over 500,000 participants.
This is a worthy project to recognise during Child Protection Week and I commend all involved.
Child Protection Week is also an opportunity for organisations to consider their own child safe principles and policies. My Child Safe WA Guidelines and other resources can assist organisations in strengthening their commitment to child safety.
Commissioner Colin Pettit presents the 2016 WA Play Your Part Award to Helen Cunningham, Safe Clubs 4 Kids project manager and Deputy Chair of the WA Sports Federation Board Hayley Lethlean.