Page 3970 - Week 10 - Thursday, 20 September 2018

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need to band together to conquer NF for people like Libby and for people like Cam, Jen and Katy.

National Child Protection Week

Children and young people—foster care

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) (5.05): I rise to speak briefly about two important weeks that were marked recently, both of which acknowledged significant partners in the protection of some of Canberra’s most vulnerable children. National Child Protection Week was marked from Sunday 2 to Saturday 8 September this year. The week is an opportunity for government, business and community to come together to promote the safety and wellbeing of children, reminding us all that protecting children is everyone’s business.

A key part of National Child Protection Week is NAPCAN’s Play Your Part Awards. The NAPCAN’s Play Your Part Awards recognise individuals, communities or organisations who have played a part in creating safer communities for children and young people. The AIDS Action Council of the ACT encampment program was recognised as the winner of the ACT Play Your Part Award. The encampment program is run by and for LGBTIQ young people from Canberra and the surrounding region. The program is designed to build resilience and protective factors in young people aged 12 to 18 who are at risk because of their emerging feelings around sex and gender questioning.

The Benevolent Society and ReachOut Australia were recognised with the national Play Your Part Award for the ReachOut parents coaching program. ReachOut parents coaching is a nationwide online parent coaching service that aims to help parents support their teenagers through everyday issues and tough times, offering coaching support and practical tools to parents concerned about the mental health and wellbeing of their teenager.

The diversity of the programs, organisations and individuals recognised through these awards illustrates the many different forms of prevention and really highlights the idea that we all have a part to play in protecting children and young people and ensuring that they grow up safe and well.

As part of National Child Protection Week I had the opportunity to meet with some of our dedicated and hardworking child and youth protection staff and acknowledge in a small way the significant part they play in protecting Canberra’s most vulnerable children. I would again like to acknowledge the work that they do every day. I acknowledge their dedication, their professionalism and their commitment to making safe and happy childhoods a reality for the ACT’s children and young people.

This work goes on day in and day out. It is work that makes a very real difference in the lives of children, young people and families but it is work that often goes

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