The NSW Opposition Leader, Luke Foley, has told primary school students the number one message was that if they ever felt unsafe, worried or scared – talk to their parents and teachers.
Mr Foley, the Member for Auburn, launched Child Protection Week at St Peter Chanel Catholic Primary School Regent’s Park.
The theme this year is: “Protecting children is everyone’s business” and it began at St Peter Chanel’s with a big breakfast.
People who work for the agencies for child protection served an abundance of oranges, apples, cheese wraps and juices to students.
At a school assembly later, that included parents, Mr Foley said there were many good people and agencies working for child protection in the local Regent’s Park and Auburn community.
“What all your teachers want is for you to enjoy your education, to always feel safe, to always feel cared for – that’s the mission of our great Catholic Schools, of this great Catholic school,”
“If any of you ever have any concerns or fears don’t keep it to yourself, don’t bottle it up. There are people you can turn to who will help and protect you,” said Mr Foley who has three children in Catholic schools.
Principal Philip Townsend echoed these words telling his students: “if there’s something that’s causing you trouble you must tell someone, tell someone you trust,” he said.
Marist Brother Tony Vaughan, School Counsellor at nearby Trinity Catholic College said it’s the sixth year of Child Protection Week in the region, and had been launched previously at other schools including St John’s Catholic Primary School Auburn, Granville Public School, Newington College, Merrylands Public School and Granville East Public School.
Helpers at the breakfast represented the 20 different agencies that support the week including Barnardos, NSW Police, the Salvos, the Red Cross, and Auburn City Council.
Paul Cronin, Regional Consultant (Primary) from the Catholic Education Office Sydney also attended the launch.
The Sydney Markets donated fruit and the multicultural support group Auburn Diversity supplied the juices and cheese.
National Child Protection Week runs from 6-12 September, after Father’s Day.