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Child safety campaign encourages kids to speak out

Rachael Knowles -

A new child safety campaign features the bright and bold artwork of young Yuin artist, Allirra Moore.

The 18-year-old artist created the artwork for the new child safety resource developed by community not-for-profit, the Y.

The resources will be used in the Y's 14 member associations across the nation as part of their Stay Safe, Tell Someone program.

Moore, who grew up on Darkinjung Country, is a proud Wodi Wodi woman of the Yuin nation from the Wreck Bay community. Painting from a young age, Moore uses art to express culture and connection to Country.

The Y reached out to Moore through social media, asking the young artist to create an original piece for their resources.

"They were really supportive; they gave me total freedom with design. They said do what you want, do what is you and show us when you're done," Moore said.

Moore noted she wanted to create a "design that was super inclusive for everyone".

"I did campfires because all mobs would have used them regardless of where you're from and which Country. I wanted the suns to reference the Aboriginal flag ... we identify so much with that flag. I wanted it to be in the piece," she said.

"I put a blue dot in which represents saltwater mob which is where I'm from."

Moore is very humbled to have the opportunity to create artwork for a child safety campaign.

"I'm passionate about the protection of children. Children are our everything in Aboriginal culture."

"Even though I'm only 18, having little nieces and nephews and little cousins, sharing what I've been taught can help them and guide them in future. I believe they deserve to be safe and to feel safe in the world we live in."

The Stay Safe, Tell Someone program is one of the first child safety models co-designed by children and young people. It was developed from face-to-face consultations and surveys of over 500 Australian children from ages three to 18.

The Stay Safe, Tell Someone Resource. Photo supplied by the Y.

The Y's Safeguarding Children and Young People National Executive, Phil Doorgachurn, said Stay Safe, Tell Someone encourages children to speak up.

"We commenced this program with Delroy Consulting in early 2019 and the message from the consultations and surveys was clearâ€"if you see something, hear something or feel something that makes you feel unsafe or worried, you should tell someone," he said.

"The children and young people told us that the best way for them to learn about safety and to raise concerns is through direct communication with a trusted adult and that we should keep information simple using images and words."

National Manager Child Safe Organisations, National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN), Sammy Bruderer, noted the importance of including the perspectives of young people in solutions.

"Children perceive and experience safety differently to adults. Their wellbeing is just too important for us to be making guesses about their feelings of safety and what they need," said Bruderer.

"When we involve children in matters that affect them, as the Y has done, we end up with better outcomes for everyoneâ€"the children, the organisation and the broader community."

The need for powerful educational resources is significant with the 2017 Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse finding the average time it takes a survivor to disclose their experience was 23.9 years.

"That's clearly intolerable and it's why we have been driven to develop these resources that can be easily understood by children and young people, easily adapted for different communities and languages, and easily delivered in a variety of settings from schools to sports fields through to youth clubs," said Doorgachurn.

Learn more about Stay Safe, Tell Someone here:Â

By Rachael Knowles

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