Bravehearts, Australia’s leaders in child protection for 22 years, has welcomed Burdekin Shire Council’s participation in White Balloon Day (Friday 7 September) during National Child Protection Week (2 – 8 September 2018).
Bravehearts’ White Balloon Day is Australia’s only national awareness and fundraising campaign dedicated to preventing child sexual assault through generating awareness to help educate children, parents and adults of the need to do more to protect kids from a crime that affects more than 60,000 children in all corners of Australia, every year.
Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said child protection was everybody’s business.
“Council is proud to support Bravehearts by promoting White Balloon Day and National Child Protection Week to increase awareness of the importance of child protection,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“All children have a right to be protected and to be safe, and I encourage everyone to support White Balloon Day this Friday 7 September.”
Hetty Johnston AM, Founder and Executive Chair of Bravehearts said, “We’re delighted that Burdekin Shire Council has joined forces with Bravehearts to participate in White Balloon Day as part of National Child Protection Week to increase awareness of the importance of child protection and raise essential funds to support Bravehearts’ vital work.
“In Australia, a child is sexually assaulted every 90 minutes – that’s 1 in 5 children who are sexually harmed in some way before their 18th Birthday – a statistic that is totally unacceptable in Australian society.
“Child protection is everybody’s business with local governments among the most important stakeholders in child protection. By working with Bravehearts, together we can create safer communities for all Australian children,” Ms Johnston said.
“Following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Recommendation 6.12 that calls on all levels of government nationally to help protect children in their communities; it’s wonderful to see Burdekin Shire Council taking an active role in promoting Bravehearts child safe messages,” she said.
Bob Atkinson AO APM, Former Commissioner for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse said, “As a long term supporter of Bravehearts, the community’s support for White Balloon Day is vital! An individuals’ safety underpins their entire quality of life and is a right not an option.
“While there is still much to do in that regard, Bravehearts are at the forefront of child protection and Council’s assistance enables them to continue their important and valuable work,” the Former Commissioner said.
Hetty Johnston said, “Every Australian child has the right to feel safe and we’re indebted to Burdekin Shire Council taking, for taking what is a significant step toward making their region a safer community for all children.
“Importantly, Council’s participation has advised local families, schools, institutions and organisations of their commitment to following Royal Commission’s Recommendation 6.12 and the 10 Child Safe Standards,” she said.
Bravehearts’ White Balloon Day campaign, funded by the Department of Social Services – National Initiatives, is Australia’s longest running annual national awareness campaign for the prevention of child sexual assault.
During National Child Protection Week everyone with the responsibility to care for children can help them stay safe by participating in White Balloon Day and conducting any of Bravehearts child safe activities at whiteballoonday.com.au.
Bravehearts offers specialised support, education and training services for children, families, schools, childcare centres and organisations.
Call Bravehearts toll free Support Line on 1800 272 831 Monday to Friday between 8:30am to 4:30pm (AEST) or visit www.bravehearts.org.au