Child Protection Week aims to raise awareness of child protection and shows Queenslanders how to recognise the signs of abuse or neglect.
Child Protection Week aims to raise awareness of child protection and shows Queenslanders how to recognise the signs of abuse or neglect. yaruta

Child safety superheroes unmasked

QUEENSLAND's superheros of child safety were revealed at a special ceremony at Parliament House on Thursday.

This year's Child Protection Week award recipients are Kummara Association's Dr Gerald Featherstone (Brisbane), Department of Health's Strategic Policy and Legislation Branch manager Joanna Gurd (Ipswich), Brisbane's Historical Abuse Network, Caboolture's Centre Against Domestic Abuse, Cairns's Speak Up Be Strong Be Heard project and the Queensland Family and Child Commission's Out of the Dark project.
Queensland Child Protection Week chair Elisabeth Kobierski said the judges were "impressed and inspired" by all of the entries to this year's awards.

"By recognising the signs and confronting uncomfortable situations head-on, these ordinary Queenslanders have demonstrated the life-changing impact that individuals can have when they decide to step up and make child protection their business," Ms Kobierski said.

"Our hope is that the recipients of these awards assist in raising the profile of all issues connected with child protection, including child abuse prevention, treatment, research, education, service provision and support for children, young people and families."

The award ceremony also kicked off the statewide Child Protection Week activities.

More than 100 community events - including education sessions, family fun days and music and dance productions - will be held across Queensland from Sunday, September 3 to Saturday, September 9.

The week aims to raise awareness of child protection and to show Queenslanders how to recognise the signs of abuse or neglect.


The 2017 Queensland Child Protection Week award winners are:

Professional (non-government) Award, Dr Gerald Featherstone: Dr Featherstone is the CEO of Kummara Association. He is an Aboriginal social worker and Bundjalung man. He led the establishment of the Family and Child Connect service in Ipswich.

Professional (government) Award, Joanna Gurd (Brisbane): Ms Gurd is the manager of the Strategic Policy and Legislation Branch at the Department of Health. Since the 1980s, she has demonstrated significant commitment to advancing the understanding of child protection issues within Queensland, both within her own agency and across other government and non-government bodies.

Volunteer Award, Historical Abuse Network: The Historical Abuse Network has contributed to lasting change of the child protection system in Queensland for the past 20 years. Every year, members of the network organise ceremonies that are held on Remembrance Day and recognise those who have survived abuse.

Regional Program Award, Centre Against Domestic Abuse, Caboolture: CADA crisis support and counselling services work directly with women and children who are involved with Child Safety, or are at risk of entering the child protection system.

Education Initiative Award, Historical Abuse Network: Members of the Historical Abuse Network Reference Group were recognised for their contribution to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Youth Participation Award, Speak Up Be Strong Be Heard project, Cairns: Speak Up Be Strong Be Heard project has demonstrated exceptional commitment to child protection in Far North Queensland since its implementation in June 2016. Due to the success of the project in West Cairns and Aurukun, it is being extended into all discrete indigenous communities in Cape York and the Torres Strait.

Media and Communications Award, Out of the Dark project: During March, the Queensland Family and Child Commission delivered a series of events to encourage online safety for children and families. The Out of the Dark project was designed with young people, for the young people of Queensland.

Community Initiative Award, Cultural Connection Program, central Queensland: The program was developed specifically in response to addressing the needs and disconnection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the Out of Home Care system. The project aim was to positively influence the wellbeing of young people in care.

Addressing Over-Representation Award, Guy Douglas, Gulf of Carpentaria: Mr Douglas is a proud Gangalidda and Waanyi man and respected leader in the Aboriginal community of Doomadgee in the Gulf of Carpentaria. He has worked in several roles to address intergenerational harm to children and families. He teaches children Waanyi and Gangalidda culture and dance at the Dumaji Children and Family Centre, on the river bank and in the bush.

- NewsRegional