Editorial: Voice to be Heard Nationally

Filed in Just In by November 8, 2018

TOMORROW night A Current Affair will be airing a story on the community backlash against the Upper Hunter Shire Council’s decision to raise the age of admission at the local swimming pools.

The Council initially claimed they had to change following a recommendation by the Royal Commission into Child Sexual abuse.

However, the Attorney General’s department which oversaw the Commission confirmed in writing to scone.com.au that there was no such recommendation.

What the Commission did recommend, to protect children from sexual abuse, included:

  • Standard 2: Children participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
  • a: Children are able to express their views and are provided opportunities to participate in decisions that affect their lives.
  • b: The importance of friendships is recognised and support from peers is encouraged, helping children feel safe and be less isolated.
  • Standard 3: Families and communities are informed and involved.
  • a: Families have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of their child and participate in decisions affecting their child.
  • b: The institution engages in open, two-way communication with families and communities about its child safety approach and relevant information is accessible.
  • c: Families and communities have a say in the institution’s policies and practices.

In that light, it was amazing to see so many adults stand up for their children.

Even more importantly for our children to see how democracy works and show them through action that their voices matter.

Seeing so many local children get behind the petition with their friends, go to a Council meeting and tell their story to the media was a really powerful experience for them and one I hope my own girls take with them.

It was also an issue that lead to many parents talking to their children about child sexual abuse, how to stay safe in a variety of situations and guide them to become more independent and self-reliant.

And that WAS the recommendation of the Royal Commission…to take children seriously and involve them in decision making.

So proud of our kids and this community!!!




Elizabeth Flaherty
Editor of scone.com.au

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