Weekly Column from the Executive Director of Schools, Diocese of Parramatta
It was such a joy to share Father’s Day with my three beautiful grandchildren this year. This fun-filled celebration of father figures in our lives is a powerful reminder of a shared responsibility to every child in our community. It’s also the beginning of National Child Protection Week.
This is an opportunity for all of us grown-ups, whether we are parents or not, to work together to support families and protect children. As an educator with responsibility for 80 schools, the issue is close to my heart. The lessons of the Royal Commission must never be forgotten.
I’m proud that the organisation I lead, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, has taken the pledge to support National Child Protection Week. Preventing child abuse and neglect is everyone’s business. We’re sharing this important message with our community and in classrooms across western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
There are many practical ways that school communities work together to protect children from abuse. These include teaching children and young people about staying safe, making sure school is a place where children feel confident to approach any member of staff if they have a worry or problem and training staff to know the best way to respond to concerns.
It’s about the value we place on children and young people and their safety. If you’d like to learn more about how you can play your part, I encourage you to visit the NAPCAN (National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) website.
If you or someone you know would like to reach out for support, I want to assure you that your community cares. There are many services ready to help including Lifeline on 13 11 14 and Kids’ Helpline on 180055180. Other useful contacts are available here.
Greg Whitby AM
Executive Director of Schools – Diocese of Parramatta