Newsletter | March 2020

Highlights From Valuing Children Initiative Newsletter March 2020

A Day of Valuing Children at Perth Heat

We kicked off 2020 with a day of fun and Valuing Children at the Perth Heat game on January 5th. Baseball lovers, visitors from out of town, grandparents, parents, and crowds of children joined us for an afternoon of face painting, balloon twisting, glitter tattooing, bouncy castles, and a great game of ball.

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors the Tony Fini Foundation, Centrecare, Inverse Energy, and Garment Exchange, we were able to give away a free cap to every child and ensure a lot of fun was had.

Children are our future and it was a great opportunity to inspire them to thrive through inclusion and sport. The day was a huge success in raising support and awareness for The Valuing Children Initiative.

Curtin University’s PLAY Conference

In a fast-changing world, we find our adult selves trying to keep up with digital, community and wellbeing shifts – not only for ourselves but more importantly, for the smaller people in our lives. In amidst the adult craziness that we have allowed ourselves to fall into, we have lost the importance of play. Yet, as big people who make important decisions about the world, we seldom experience the process of play in valuing children. What are these societal changes in play impacting? 

The Valuing Children Initiative was invited to key-note the Play conference and lead an interactive conversation about how to value children through play, figuring out the barriers and solutions. VCI Ambassador Bella stole the show with an insightful perspective on the importance of play within her own family and education. Read more about Bella as an Ambassador below. 

In the weeks following the conference, we have received great feedback, and have started the work on some fantastic collaborations.

Watch this space for our research venture with Curtin University and Guildford Grammar School commencing later this quarter.  

Revamp the Mindset on Poverty

In a recent paper, VCI Founder, Adj. Prof Tony Pietropiccolo AM, reviewed successive governments’ failure to tackle poverty, and the way society has moved toward demonising the poor. Using former Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s introduction of means-tested family payments, this report observes that no government since Hawke’s prime-ministerial exit in 1991 has put childhood poverty front and centre.  

Tony argues that politicians have bandied around labels such as “lifters, not leaders” and “dole bludgers”, creating a space from which governments have felt empowered to impose increasingly punitive measures on welfare recipients. 

Following the recent West Australian article referencing Tony’s paper, Tony has been invited to multiple conferences and events through 2020, as we influence policy change. Read the full paper here

Commissioner for Children, Megan Mitchell, speaks on Australia’s shameful record on protecting children’s rights

Australia is a wealthy nation, with much to be proud of – but when it comes to children’s rights, a new report indicates the country’s record is shameful.

The findings are contained in the Children’s Rights report by the Nation’s Commissioner for Children Megan Mitchell.

The data presented a 27 percent increase in reported substantiations of child abuse and neglect, an 18 percent jump in children in out of home care, and that one in seven kids aged between 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with mental health disorders are not being cared for sufficiently.

Children’s Collective Group

VCI is pleased to be a part of the steering committee for the Children’s Collective group, commencing early 2020. 

The Children’s Collective is a group of committed individuals and organisations coming together to develop innovative solutions to complex issues affecting the children of Western Australia.

Inquiry into Age Verification for online wagering and online pornography

Earlier last year, VCI was invited to submit recommendations to eChildhood on the Inquiry of Age Verification regime – with the objective being to shape policy that addresses youth online safety.

Upon completion, the comprehensive submission argued that a “key component underpinning the success of a safer online digital environment for children is the implementation of an Age Verification regime within robust updated legislation underpinned by safety, security and privacy”. It was recommended that “good government policy include the implementation of such a system, no matter where content is hosted, to restrict minors’ access to all commercial porn websites”.

The Australian Government has just announced that they are supporting the implementation of the online age verification for online pornography in Australia. The next steps will see the eSafety Commissioner developing a roadmap for bringing in the mandatory age verification of online pornography sites. Fantastic news for child safety online! Congratulations to all involved.

Read the full submission here

View full newsletter published on 10/03/2020