By Amanda Murthy
The Archdiocese of Perth Safeguarding Office will host its fourth annual Child Protection Breakfast on Thursday 5 September, with yet another competition as a way to encourage the younger ones to use their voice.
The winners of the Safeguarding Project competition will be announced during this year’s breakfast, themed “to raise thriving kids”, in line with this year’s National Protection theme.
Children and young people have been asked to draw or express who helps them thrive. The role of adults is to listen, work with, and be part of the conversations with children about what is important to them and their safety so they can thrive.
The Archdiocese will select three winners (one from each age category) with one overall winner taking the home grand prize of a $500 gift voucher.
To enter, students must be a part of either one of these age categories: Kindergarten to Year 3, Years 4 to 6, or Secondary school. Entry forms are available at parishes or can be downloaded from the Archdiocese of Perth Safeguarding webpage.
Entries can be submitted to a parish or the Safeguarding Office by Wednesday 21 August.
Safeguarding Project Compliance Officer Program coordinator Barbara Blayney confirmed that Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB will host the event, and Executive Director of Catholic Education WA Dr Debra Sayce is expected to give the keynote address, speaking on the efforts of our parishes and schools in working together to provide safe, nurturing environments.
Mrs Blayney went on to express that the breakfast was a great opportunity for all to celebrate the work being done to counter the errors of our past of the Church and look to the future with confidence that our Church communities are safe environments for all of us, especially children.
She was happy to announce that the Safeguarding Project has been adopted by the Bunbury and Geraldton Dioceses, with all three dioceses now working together under the same banner.
“The Catholic Professional Standards Limited – the national body set up by the Bishops to address matters arising from the Royal Commission has provided us with further guidance on how we can work to more effectively meet the 10 child safety standards,” Mrs Blayney stated.
“In keeping with this year’s National Child Protection theme, the Safeguarding Project has produced a Kite Card which highlights the themes of ’Protecting God’s Children’. God gave all children the right to feel safe at all times and nothing is so awful that we can’t talk with someone about it.
“It lists the contact numbers of agencies that offer assistance in times of need – please take a copy when leaving the church,” she added.
As part of the Church’s response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations, the Safeguarding Office produced two free resources.
The first in 2017 was titled Protecting Gods Children – A Catholic Parents Guide to Keeping their Children Safe, dedicated to parents, and last September the office released another handbook for teenagers titled Love, Sex and Relationships – The Basic Essentials for Catholic Teenagers.
Both are available from the Safeguarding office or as an e-read on the Archdiocese of Perth Safeguarding webpage: http://www.perthcatholic.org.au/Organisations__Services-Safeguarding.htm