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Vulnerability Speaker Series

As a society, our goal must be for all children and young people to achieve their potential. In WA, particular cohorts of children and young people face significant vulnerability and disadvantage and do not have adequate support and resources to overcome the challenges they experience.


At the culmination of 10 years of the Commissioner for Children and Young People’s office, it is timely to listen and reflect on what more than 11,000 children and young people in WA have told us about their lives. In doing so, it is clear that more needs to be done to meet the needs of our most vulnerable children and young people.

In March 2018, the Commissioner released a discussion paper to inform and challenge current thinking on factors that influence vulnerability to harm and lessen outcomes for children and young people. Through their voices, the paper provides a unique perspective to advance a collective understanding of vulnerability and how to best address the causes and reduce the impact on children and young people.

The project

To progress the ideas set out in the discussion paper, the Commissioner is hosting a program of events in 2018 focused on vulnerable children and young people in our community.

The Vulnerability Speaker Series features presentations from a variety of international, national and distinguished WA leaders and will bring together government leaders, staff from the community services sector, policy officers and academics to explore how best to address the challenges facing vulnerable children and young people in WA and inform effective strategic responses.

Rio Tinto is Principal Partner of the Vulnerability Speaker Series in recognition of the importance of supporting vulnerable children and young people to reach their full potential.

Upcoming free seminar

Improving the wellbeing of Aboriginal children

Thursday 24 August 2018

The third seminar will explore Aboriginal-led initiatives that have brought about positive change for Aboriginal children and young people. It will examine the particular importance of supporting Aboriginal leadership and nurturing young Aboriginal leaders to help address the over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people in vulnerability statistics. 

It will feature:

  • Mick Gooda, former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.
  • Winthrop Professor Helen Milroy, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, and Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health at the University of Western Australia. Professor Milroy was a Commissioner for the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Andrew Jackomos, former Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People for Victoria.

To register go to our Seminars page.

Past seminars

The role of services in assisting vulnerable children and young people

17 May 2018

The second seminar in the Vulnerability Speaker Series explored the role of service providers in delivering effective, practical interventions to assist vulnerable children and young people. 

It featured New Zealand Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft and Co-Director at the Australian Centre for Child Protection Professor Leah Bromfield.


Seminar presentation - The role of services in assisting vulnerable children and young people

pdf 5MB Download pdf

Understanding vulnerability in children and young people

20 March 2018

The first seminar in the Vulnerability Speaker Series featured two of the Commissioner’s Ambassadors for Children and Young People - Winthrop Professor Stephen Zubrick and Professor Donna Cross from the Telethon Kids Institute and Professor Alan Duncan from the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre.

Professor Zubrick reviewed evidence around how particular factors contribute to poorer outcomes for children and young people and highlight the points of intervention most likely to have a positive impact. Professor Donna Cross explored the direct impact of poverty on children and young people’s vulnerability and Professor Duncan explored the economic impact of vulnerability to society.

Seminar presentation - Understanding vulnerability in children and young people

pdf 5MB Download pdf


Principal Partner

Thank you to Rio Tinto for its proud support of the Vulnerability Speaker Series.

Young people's views on vulnerability

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