Child Protection Week (2- 8 Sep) is all about getting everyone involved in building better communities for children and young people. An important part of this is making sure that the voice of children and young people are heard in our society.
Townsville Catholic Education Senior Social Worker, Katherine Olsen wanted to get our students involved and approached several Year 4 to 6 students in our primary schools to create bookmarks which include messages to their peers about how to keep safe.
Students from St Clare’s Catholic School, Burdell and St Michael’s Catholic School, Palm Island sent in over 200 entries, all of which included messages about how to keep safe, the warning signs and what actions they should take when they feel unsafe.
Five winners were selected and were awarded with a prize, while every student that put in an entry received a Certificate of Participation and all students at both St Clare’s and St Michael’s received a bookmark.
“I was really impressed with the messages on the bookmarks and that students knew what action to take if they felt unsafe. They provided some great messaging, which made it very hard to choose the winning ones,” said Katherine.
To get young people involved in Child Protection Week, Katherine approached Year 10 Art students asking them to create posters about staying safe, and also promoting a current Townsville Catholic Education Student Protection initiative, #makeachoiceyouwontregret. The #makeachoiceyouwontregret campaign consists of four videos, where secondary students talk about the inappropriate use of social media.
There were four winning posters from Ryan Catholic College, with the College currently displaying the posters around the school and as a background to their computers and Google class pages.
Katherine was again very impressed by the students’ creativity and blown away by the insights these students offered.
“They had some really positive messages for their peers which demonstrated incredible maturity and a genuine understanding of the issues faced by youth online.”
Child protection is key to ensuring students at Townsville Catholic Education are safe, nurtured and protected.