Child Wellbeing movement calls on Government to “think big” about child wellbeing

by Freya Lucas

September 02, 2019

A steering committee of over 20 influential organisations has combined to call on state and federal governments to “think big” when it comes to promoting the wellbeing of children and young people in Australia, through the initiation of “the most significant and valuable nation-building project that has ever been undertaken” – the Every Child National Wellbeing Commitment. 


Co-Chair of the campaign Dr Kirsty Nowlan said the wellbeing of every child and young person in Australia “must be elevated as a national priority”. 


Dr Nolan believes the best national foundation any country can have is healthy, safe, well-educated children and young people who are confident in themselves and their future.


“The aim of the campaign is to bring awareness and accountability for all Australians to ensure children and young people get the best start in life,” Dr Nolan said. 


As part of the Every Child National Wellbeing Commitment, the Every Child alliance is on a mission to achieve seven headline targets for action:

  1. Increase by 20 per cent in 10 years the number of children who are developmentally ‘on track’ in their first year of full-time school.
  2. Reduce the number of children in out of home care by 20 per cent in 10 years.
  3. Eliminated the over-representation in rates of notification of child abuse or neglect of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in 10 years.
  4. Increase by 20 per cent in 10 years the number of children and young people from low income families living in stable and affordable housing.
  5. Increase by 20 per cent in 10 years the investment in early support and prevention as a proportion of overall child and family support service funding in regional and major cities across Australia.
  6. Reduce by 20 per cent in 10 years the number of children and young people living in poverty.
  7. Reduce by 20 per cent in 10 years the rate of youth suicide.


Echoing Dr Nolan’s sentiments, fellow Co-Chair Simon Schrapel said too many children grow up without stable foundations. 


“Help comes too late and problems get worse. Our community and governments can think big and think differently so that children, young people and families get the right support at the right time.”


Rather than focusing on infrastructure, Dr Schrapel said to truly build a strong nation, governments should be making “a big investment in early support and prevention of problems before they arise. We need to come together to ensure our future generations are supported and nurtured in the right environment to meet developmental milestones.” 


The campaign seeks to highlight that the best foundations for children and young people’s wellbeing are that they are able to access quality health care and education, secure housing and income, personal safety and self-confidence.


The Every Child campaign is building its coalition of organisations and individuals across Australia with expertise and commitment to advancing a public health approach to the wellbeing of children, young people and families. 


The campaign has received positive attention, with 1,871 individuals signing up to support the movement during its pre-launch period. 


More information about the Every Child campaign can be found here