Who We Are

The Valuing Children Initiative was established in January 2016 to create a greater societal awareness of children’s needs to ensure they are able to maximise their wellbeing and therefore their potential. Even as an affluent country Australia is inadequate in the priority children are given and children are not faring as well as they could be. Issues that have an adverse impact on children’s wellbeing, and therefore their development and ability to reach their potential, have a subsequent negative effect on society.

HOW we value children matters and directly impacts on attitudes, behaviours, and actions towards children. We need to make Australia a better place for all children. We need to reconsider the priority we give to them, as well as the need for the entire community to understand its shared responsibility for children.

The VCI acts to drive change to a culture in which it becomes automatic for the needs of children to be prioritised. Only when they are at the forefront of our considerations and an environment is created where they can all flourish, will society truly benefit.
Our concerns are all-encompassing – obesity, online safety, abuse and neglect, child poverty, and so forth, and fall within the four pillars of Listen, Voice, Safety, and Growth.

If you would like to get involved please visit our How To Help page

Our Team


Adj. Prof. Tony Pietropiccolo, AM

Director, Centrecare Inc & Co-Founder, Valuing Children Initiative

Tony’s commitment and achievements in the community and social services sector span over 40 years. In a sector full of committed individuals, Tony stands out not just for his remarkable role as Director of Centrecare, but for his relentless pursuit of social justice at the highest level for some of society’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals. Tony is passionate about the role of the non-government sector. Above and beyond Centrecare’s interests, he believes that the sector is central to the future wellbeing of so many Australians and has sought to protect the integrity and standards of social service organisations throughout Australia so they are able to maximise their contribution. This is exemplified by his significant involvement with many peak organisations and founding the Valuing Children Initiative.

Tony was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the General Division (AM) in 2012 and most recently Adjunct Professor in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle Campus.

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Madeleine McLeod

Development Executive

Maddie is a qualified social worker with more than 20 years’ experience.  Her commitment to social justice is evident across her career with significant prior experience in direct service provision to vulnerable children, adults and families in the out-of-home-care and justice sectors as well as senior management roles in not-for-profit organisations. Maddie recognises there are systemic and attitudinal barriers that prevent many children from reaching their potential and she is interested in finding creative ways to effect positive change for children, and for society more broadly.

Maddie’s experience as a social worker gives her a deep understanding of the individual and societal outcomes that occur when children are not valued appropriately.  She believes placing the wellbeing and voices of children and young people at the centre of decision making and policy is crucial in order to achieve a society in which all children can flourish.   Along with knowledge and experience, Maddie brings a creative, positive and strategic mindset to the Valuing Children Initiative.


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Black and white photo of the Valuing Childrens Initiative team

Thank you…to our volunteers

We are grateful for our wonderful volunteer team that supports Valuing Children. Self-referred and through University programs; we cannot do this without you.

Thank you to the McCusker Internship Program- University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University, and the University of Notre Dame for your intern support.

Thank you.