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Media Release by The Hon Sussan Ley MP

2005 National Child Protection Award winners announced

Fifteen organisations have been nationally recognised for their contributions to reducing and preventing child abuse and neglect, at the 2005 National Child Protection Awards held today in Canberra.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Children and Youth Affairs, Sussan Ley, today congratulated the winning and commended organisations, a number of which are funded by the Howard Government to enhance the long-term wellbeing of children.

“These Awards are an opportunity to highlight and reward organisations which continue to make such a positive contribution to addressing issues of child abuse and neglect,” Mrs Ley said.

“This weekend marks both the United Nations’ Universal Children’s Day and the Women’s World Summit Foundation’s World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse and so it is a most appropriate time to celebrate and recognise the work of the organisations represented here today, whilst at the same time pausing to reflect upon the need for them to exist.”

Mrs Ley went on the describe the work of some of the organisations, for instance the Australian Childhood Foundation’s Every Child is Important Program (ECIP), received the Public Education Programs and Campaigns Award for its commitment to assisting parents develop supportive and healthy relationships with their children.

“The Howard Government funds ECIP with over $1 million, under the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy, for the expansion of the program to communities throughout Australia.

“The Yorganop Child Care Aboriginal Corporation, funded by both the Howard and Western Australian Governments, received the Indigenous Specific Services Award for its Aboriginal Training Initiative.

“The initiative trains Indigenous child care workers, based on culturally appropriate styles of learning, enabling them to work in both Indigenous and mainstream child care centres.

“The Highly Commended Certificate for Community Development, Capacity Building and Strengthening was awarded to the Benevolent Society’s Partnerships in Early Childhood Program (PIEC), for meeting the needs of families in disadvantaged areas.

“As part of the program, a family worker or psychologist is placed in a child care centre to work with staff and the community to link high risk families to support services.

“The Howard Government provides over $2.6 million in funding to PIEC through the Invest to Grow initiative, to place family workers and psychologists in another 16 child care centres in areas of identified need.

“These programs are making a real difference to families and with the Howard Government providing funding for expansion, communities are better able to identify local problems and develop local solutions.

“Since 1999, the Australian Council for Children and Parenting has been rewarding these deserving organisations; I am especially pleased this year to see that in addition to the larger national groups seven smaller organisations have also been recognised for achievements in their local communities.

“Early intervention to prevent child abuse and neglect is one of the Howard Government’s key strategies, and we will continue to raise awareness of this issue and to support organisations committed to creating healthy and safer communities for children to grow up in,” Mrs Ley said.