Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Protecting Australia’s future – our children

Federal Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony, today marked National Child Protection Week by showcasing some of the Federal Government’s work to raise awareness about child abuse prevention and promote healthy parenting practices.

Launching Exploring Domestic Violence: The Links Between Child Maltreatment and Domestic Violence, Mr Anthony said the key issues paper suggested that both child abuse and domestic violence were present in many families where either behaviour was identified.

“As a father of three young children, I found this disturbing. We must strive to learn more about this subject and develop effective solutions to protect our children,” Mr Anthony said.

“The report adds to the knowledge gained though initiatives such as the Government’s Partnerships Against Domestic Violence Strategy (PADV) where funds have been put aside for children affected by domestic violence.

“The paper, produced by the National Child Protection Clearinghouse, gives us a better idea of the links between family violence and child abuse, and provides important information that can be used to develop further initiatives for prevention and early intervention.”

Mr Anthony also opened an exhibition of Indigenous paintings by artist Tex Skuthorpe. Posters of the paintings will be sent to schools and communities across Australia as part of a community education program.

“The posters are a wonderful way of telling people about care and respect for children, healthy lifestyles and the importance of passing knowledge and skills from older to younger people,” Mr Anthony said.

The paintings, on exhibition this week at Parliament House, were commissioned by the NAPCAN (National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse) with a grant from the Department of Family and Community Services. Mr Anthony also launched a parenting program developed by Canberra’s Marymead Family and Child Centre, designed for parents from a variety of cultural backgrounds.

Parenting Between Cultures aims to support and strengthen the ability of parents from different cultures to adapt to the Australian way of life,” Mr Anthony said.

“Getting the balance between maintaining a strong ethnic identity, and incorporating the positive aspects of Australian society into parenting styles is crucial to developing healthy family relationships, and in turn a strong community.”