Resources and information prepared by the Child Protection Unit were distributed to Mass goers on the day and included cards outlining the rights of children and prayer cards for adults. Each child was also given a packet of painted daisy seeds to plant.
As Child Protection Unit manager Ms Sally Wellington explained, the painted daisy is a protective plant which keeps other plants safe from insects and the seeds provided a symbolic reminder of the importance of adults and communities working together to protect children and young people.
Centacare Catholic Family Services launched its Child Protection Week activities on September 3, with the focus ‘to celebrate our children’.
As Centacare assistant director Pauline Connelly told the gathering, the week needed to be a ‘joyful time’ to celebrate all children.
“Being a grandmother has really helped me to re-engage with what it means to celebrate children,” she said, explaining that with the work involved in being a parent you sometimes forget “what amazing little creatures they are and how much fun and joy and love we can have with them”.
“Child Protection Week is a really special way to remember that, to think about not just celebrating, but how can we grow, nurture and protect the beautiful children that are in our care.”
During the event a video and booklet produced by Centacare titled Learn about your rights was launched. Aimed at children, it features Patch the bear, Pippy the rabbit and Piper the bird who tell children they have the right to feel safe and happy, to dream big, to be listened to and get help if they need it.
Special guests at the launch were a group of enthusiastic Year 1 students from St Aloysius College who were happy to join music therapist Lucy May in singing a number of fun-filled songs.