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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 October 2018) . . Page.. 4211 ..


But, of course, funding is part of the answer.

I want to add that the answer that we need in the ACT and everywhere else requires collaboration across service systems. The kids whom we are seeing in care and protection, out of home care, juvenile justice and then the adult criminal justice systems are the same children in many places. These are the same children whom we will be seeing or are seeing needing mental health supports and other health services, and they are indubitably the same children who have disengaged from education. Breaking these cycles of violence and abuse will contribute to breaking the cycle of disadvantage. Ultimately, a stronger, more resilient, fairer, more positive, more humane community will result, the sort of community that I am absolutely sure everyone here in this Assembly wants. I support the motion as amended.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Disability, Minister for Children, Youth and Families, Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety, Minister for Government Services and Procurement, Minister for Urban Renewal) (4.53): I thank Mrs Kikkert for bringing forward the motion before us today and I indicate that I will be supporting Minister Berry’s amendment. It is timely for us to focus on children and young people today, the day that Australia marks Universal Children’s Day as part of Children’s Week, our national celebration of children’s rights, talents and citizenship.

Core to the Convention on the Rights of the Child is the principle that the best interests of the child must be paramount in any decision that is made or any action that is taken that may affect children. The focal point of this year’s Children’s Week is article 12, that children’s views and opinions are respected.

The ACT government is committed to ensuring that the voices of children and young people are heard across a range of policy areas. Indeed, I had the great pleasure of providing an initial response to the recommendations of the youth assembly recently, a session I know that Mrs Kikkert also attended. I look forward to receiving the final recommendations of the assembly shortly.

In respect of domestic and family violence, this commitment to hearing the voices of children and young people is evidenced by Minister Berry’s recent announcement of new funding of $100,000 as part of the response to the report from the Domestic Violence Prevention Council, DVPC, arising from the extraordinary meeting held in April this year. The funding is for a project to give a stronger voice to children and young people in the design of policies and services.

Jointly led by the Children and Young People Commissioner and the Coordinator-General for Family Safety, the project responds to the report’s recommendation that the government undertake specific consultation with children and young people to learn from their experiences and to consider the types of services that would best empower them and promote their recovery from the impacts of violence.


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