HELPING HANDS: Detective Senior Sergeant James Steginga, Detective Senior Sergeant Margaret Cassidy, Sergeant Nadine Webster and Katrina Kane of ICYS are calling for final nominations for the Ipswich Child Protection Awards.
HELPING HANDS: Detective Senior Sergeant James Steginga, Detective Senior Sergeant Margaret Cassidy, Sergeant Nadine Webster and Katrina Kane of ICYS are calling for final nominations for the Ipswich Child Protection Awards. Rob Williams

Annual awards bring focus on work of child safety devotees

TIME is fast running out to nominate for this year's Ipswich and West Moreton Child Protection Week Awards.

The annual awards aim to recognise the contributions of individuals and organisations working to make a safer world for kids, with six categories including one dedicated to volunteers.

Ipswich Community Youth Service spokesperson Katrina Kane said the awards, which have been running since 2012, had helped bring child protection efforts to the front of conversations in the community.

"I think it's a great way for work colleagues to celebrate the work they do, but also a way for individuals and organisations to be acknowledged for their contributions,” she said.

"It's especially important to recognise volunteers, and there are a lot of those in our sector. Also, we see a lot of paid workers who go over and above the requirements of their role.

"The awards really have grown from year to year. It has become a known event on the calendar.”

Nominations for the awards close this Friday, August 3. For the first time, nominations can be made online this year at icys.org.au/ipswich-west-moreton-region-child-protection-week-awards-nomination-2018/.

An independent judging panel will then decided the winners across the six categories, ahead of the awards ceremony at Ipswich Turf Club on Friday, September 7.

This year's categories cover achievements by people working for government and non-government entities; those specialising in youth engagement and cultural areas; educational programs and child safety volunteers.

The guest speaker will be Sonya Ryan, who started the Carly Ryan Foundation in memory of her daughter, who at the age of 15 was lured by an online predator and murdered.

Sonya will focus on issues of keeping kids safe online, including hints to deal with cyber bullying. As part of Child Protection Month in September, Ipswich will also host a special symposium, also at the Turf Club, from 10am-2pm on September 4.

The symposium is designed for people studying or working in the field of child protection and includes a number of guest speakers.

For more information on the awards or the symposium, phone 3812 1050.