Newsletter July | 2019
Highlights From Valuing Children Initiative Newsletter July 2019
Child Aware Conference, Brisbane
It was a pleasure to present and be part of the Families Australia Child Aware Conference in Brisbane this May. The conference brought together passionate leaders in the child wellbeing space to discuss excellence in the field. VCI’s Dr Vicky Absalom-Hornby presented to the audience on the need for Valuing Children across Australia to prevent as child wellbeing crisis. We were able to share the Valuing Children Initiative’s partnerships, research opportunities and community engagement model, as we influence adults in valuing children better.
The standouts for the two days were the Young People’s Panel, who beautifully represented our Australian children and provided a voice for all children across the theme of children- our concern, our responsibility, our future. The need to have young people involved in leadership, decision making, and advocacy is essential to ensure positive change for children in Australia.
An outstanding presentation by New Zealand’s lead for child wellbeing; Maree Brown, was the second highlight of the conference. Maree shared with the 400 strong audiences the model, structure, and process implemented by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her team. Having a leader truly prioritise children in NZ, and championing throughout, is proving successful in creating the best place for children to live.
Thank you to the team at Families Australia for a great event, having the Valuing Children Initiative as Youth Sponsor and continuing to raise awareness for Valuing Children across Australia.
Global Citizenship Programs for Children- UNAAWA
“I feel more optimistic about the future because of events like this where older people take the time to listen to me and care about what I think.”– Casey, aged 11.
This sentiment, recently expressed by a school student at a United Nations Association of Australia (UNAAWA) event, is what drives the volunteers who have developed the Association’s Global Citizenship programs for primary and secondary schools. These programs seek to inspire and empower our youngsters (and their communities) to become active global citizens.
During May, UNAAWA school programs received international recognition at the Global Challenges Foundation Education Awards held at the London School of Economics. The Foundation, based in Sweden, sought innovative approaches to improving the communication of global risks and the need for global governance reform. UNAAWA presented a scalable school education template for Reshaping Global Governance Through Citizen Empowerment. It was selected as one of the 10 winning innovations along with entries from Europe (4), USA (3), Asia, and Africa.
Based on the UNESCO model for Global Citizenship Education (GCEd), the template comprises seven interwoven components that support teachers in reframing and adding value to existing school curricula. The template features the recently accredited senior secondary UNAAWA school program Global Citizenship and Sustainability, in which students use the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to apply learning across the curriculum and design solutions for global risks. Student achievements are recognised on the WA Certificate of Education and for entry to Curtin University.
Through the template’s Awards component innovative teachers like Lis Mathiasen at Westminster Junior Primary School are recognised. Her pedagogy is based on the Convention of the Rights of the Child. Acting as a facilitator, Lis engages Year 2 and 3 children in the production and publication of booklets presenting their views on the world. (On 9 September they will be launching their latest effort Looking After Our Fascinating Earth at Mirrabooka Library.)
UNAAWA and the Valuing Children Initiative will collaborate on future programs shining a spotlight on the ideas and actions of our children in addressing global risks. If sustainable development is that which “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” who better to lead the way than our children?
Cockburn Community Grant
In our mission to improve how Australian adults value children and improve child wellbeing, we have partnered with ChildSafe to provide the City of Cockburn with ‘Valuing Children – Safe Organisations’ workshops. These will take place in National Child Protection Week 2019 and we are excited to provide the Local Government with knowledge and application to excel in child safety.
Child Advocacy Winners
It was an honor for the Valuing Children Initiative to receive the Research and Advocacy Award from the Anglican Social Justice and Eco Awards in May. Our relationship with The Centre for Social Impact at the University of WA sees the Valuing Children Initiative undertaking a new piece of research in 2019, t better understand the gaps between adults thinking of children and our ability to act with best practice.