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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 6 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2482..


MS HUNTER (continuing):

The Australian Childhood Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that works tirelessly to support the children and families devastated by abuse, family violence and neglect. This support is provided through counselling, therapeutic care and training to foster carers and residential unit staff to better support these traumatised children.

In partnership with Monash University, the Childhood Foundation has established the Child Abuse Prevention Research Australia to research the problem of child abuse and identify constructive solutions. The foundation also works to inspire and support parents by providing ongoing parenting education seminars and easily accessible resources to strengthen the ability of parents to raise happy and confident children. They also provide a range of community and professional education, consultancy and debriefing programs, child abuse prevention programs and advocacy activities.

There are many ways that we here in this place, in the Assembly, can get involved beyond the activities of Childhood Hero Day. Dr Tucci from the Australian Childhood Foundation is quoted as saying:

The need to be reminded of the problem of child abuse for it to register as a community priority reflects the intensity of the effort it takes to deny its existence. It also highlights the ease with which we can forget it again once the issue has receded into the background. It is as if, collectively, the community avoids the issue, preferring to ignore it rather than face up to it.

Our role is to make sure this issue is raised over and over again and that we work towards stopping child abuse in our communities. No child should ever feel shame, scared or traumatised. The more we talk about this issue within our communities, the more chance we have of dismissing the myths and changing community attitudes.

We need to place pressure on our federal counterparts for the development of a national child abuse strategy and at a local level we need to make serious investment in community education campaigns to raise public awareness. We all have the chance to be a childhood hero every day, not just on Wednesday, 23 June. So I guess I put the question out there: what will you do to progress this issue?

Tuggeranong Arts Centre

Multicultural Youth Services

MS BURCH (Brindabella-Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Women) (5.38): Briefly, I thank Ms Hunter for reminding us about looking through a different view of the world at times. I think it is just worth noting for Hansard that there is not a single opposition member here, so they are all tuckered out and have tucked themselves up in their rooms upstairs.

I would like to take a few minutes to talk about Tuggeranong Arts Centre's multiple award-winning Messengers program. I had a conversation with the manager of that on Monday and I think it is a wonderful program. Messengers is a youth arts program for high school students, providing them with opportunities for creative expression and personal development through visual arts-drama, music and dance-workshops. The


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