Child Protection Week 2009 reached its highpoint in Cairns today at a Family Fun Day officially opened by Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt, and attended by more than 300 local community members.
The Family Fun Day is the third event in the Cairns Child Protection Week calendar with the launch held last Friday at the Jute Theatre, and a free community mini-festival yesterday at Ravizza Park hosted by Hambledon House Community Centre where Mr Pitt helped out with the sausage sizzle and had attendees lined up 20 deep.
Mr Pitt stressed at today’s event that everybody has a role to play in child protection.
“All of us share a responsibility when it comes to ensuring the wellbeing and safety of our children and young people,” Mr Pitt said.
“The 2009 theme ‘Take action for child protection’ represents a call for everyone in the community to acknowledge their responsibility in protecting our most vulnerable citizens.
“Our children are our future and they have the right to expect us to keep them safe.”
Mr Pitt acknowledged Child Protection workers for their dedication and commitment to Queensland children.
“There can be no doubt that the role that Child Protection workers play is a significant and valuable contribution to bettering the lives of vulnerable children, young people and their families,” Mr Pitt said.
“The work is unpredictable, confrontational and challenging. They go into often dangerous and always emotional environments to protect children, and to work with families struggling to raise children.”
Mr Pitt said there are other child safety professionals, workers and advocates, and foster and kinship carers, who also play a significant role in the circle of child protection.
“Today offers us an occasion to publicly recognise their effort, commitment and unreserved energy also,” Mr Pitt said.
“This commitment can make a world of difference to today’s children and young people – tomorrow’s adults.
“It is up to all of us – as individuals, as members of the community and as employees or advocates of child protection agencies – to work together to strengthen child protection in Queensland
“Every child has a right to a nurturing, loving environment, and everybody has a role to play in providing for the safety of children.
“Every child has the right to be safe from harm.”
Child Protection Week runs from 6–12 September. For more information, visit www.childsafety.qld.gov.au.