What should our community look like?

We're supporting NAPCAN in promoting Child Protection Week (5-11 September 2021) and National Children's Week (31 October). This year the theme is about fairness and protecting children by working together as a community, to support every child to thrive and be healthy.

Yarra Ranges Council actively promotes the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people in our community and has a zero tolerance for child abuse and neglect. Ensuring that the voices of children are heard and taken seriously is an important part of keeping our communities safe. See more information on Child and Young People’s Safety - Everyone’s Business

To start the conversation we're asking children and young people to create and share artwork with their ideas about what makes a safe and healthy community.

The artwork will be displayed in the gallery below and used in our ongoing work to promote the message that “child safety is everyone’s responsibility” and to help show that protecting children is about working together as a community.

Art Activity

We are looking to children’s services and families to support their children/young people to participate. This way we hope to see artworks that are based on meaningful conversations with the children and young people themselves.

What we would need from you:

• Investment in time (probably a few hours) talking to the children about our community and then creating the artwork

• We would love to see collaborative artworks but we are also happy for children to do individual artworks if they prefer.

What to do

Create your artwork on A3 paper or larger and submit your artwork.

Families and services - Ideas to get started

Below are some talking points to get you started… You know your children/young people best, so please feel free to guide your own conversation. The following are just suggestions to get you started.

Tell the children/young people:

‘We want to learn more about the things YOU think make the community where you live great for your family.’

Explain that it’s not just up to grown-ups to make sure you grow up healthy and well; it’s also up to the whole community to make sure that every family has the things they need.

As an example you could talk about what things make life easier for grown-ups and children/young people e.g. if they have jobs and enough money, if they don’t have to drive a long way to school or work, if there are fun free things to do like going to the park, if they have education if they have healthy shops, and if they have friendly neighbours.

We’d like to get children/young people thinking about all aspects of their communities and what is important for all families… The following questions might be useful:

  • What are the things you like most about your community (or what would be in your dream community)?
  • Where do you like to go for fun with your family or friends e.g. park, library, sport, pool?
  • What things in the community are important for your family? What, or who, do you like to see as you walk around? (e.g. flowers, pets, other kids, friends, neighbours, buses, trains, planes, favourite shops)
  • What other things do we all need in a community e.g. schools, houses, jobs, roads, doctors etc
  • Depending on your group, you may like to get the children thinking a bit more deeply about fairness e.g. Do you think that all communities have all the things that families need? Do you think that’s fair?