G8 Education services in FNQ reach major child protection milestone
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G8 Education services in FNQ reach major child protection milestone

by Freya Lucas

July 06, 2022

G8 Education services in Far North Queensland have reached a major milestone, having educated 1,000 local children via a partnership with child protection organisation Bravehearts


The significant milestone was reached at Pelican’s in the City One where educators and children watched Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show, an interactive experience that empowers children to identify uncomfortable feelings like anxiety, to know what to do if they feel unsafe, and the difference between small and big secrets and which ones are okay to keep. 


Emma Petherick, Bravehearts’ National Education Operations Manager, said the ongoing work in G8 Education centres is vital to improve the safety of Australian children, given statistics showing that approximately one in every five children will experience child sexual abuse. 


“Due to confidentiality reasons, it is difficult to say exactly how many disclosures are made as a direct result of children seeing this show; however, it’s safe to say that we have current or future survivors in every audience we see,” Ms Petherick said.  


Child safety is the highest priority for G8 Education, Chief Operating Officer Malcom Ashcroft said, explaining that the company places a priority on creating child-friendly environments where all children are respected, valued and encouraged to reach their potential. 


Each G8 service has a child protection champion who works to embed practices into centres by supporting and educating team members and promoting a child-safe culture. 


Mayara Rocha serves in this role at Pelicans in the City One, where she leads the team’s participation in ongoing training and monthly focused discussions to ensure everyone is aware of their obligations. 


As educators, she said, it is important to stop and reflect on the enormous responsibilities which come with reporting and supporting children who may be experiencing abuse. 


“I also like to make sure everyone understands why the training is so essential and how it impacts not just children’s safety but also benefits families and the whole community.” 


Educators, she said, must be educated and empowered in order to support children.  


More information about Pelicans in the City One is available here. Visit bravehearts.org.au for information, advice, support and professional development about child sexual abuse.


This piece is based on local coverage from Cairns Local News.

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