2021 Safeguarding breakfast to highlight importance of valuing every child with launch of ‘I am God’s Marvellous Creation’
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB and Safeguarding Program Director Andrea at the first Safeguarding Breakfast held in 2016. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
By Amanda Murthy
The Archdiocese of Perth will host its’ fifth Safeguarding Breakfast in less than a month - with Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB scheduled to launch a new protective behaviours storybook titled ‘I am God’s Marvellous Creation,’ dedicated to children between the ages if three to eight years of age.
Themed ‘Every Child in Every Community Needs A Fair Go,’ the annual event (cancelled last year due to the pandemic restrictions) will take place at Duxton Hotel Ballroom on Thursday, 9 September, and will feature retired Commissioner of WA Police Dr Karl O’Callaghan as the keynote speaker.
“Our theme of National Child Protection Week this year relates directly to this “Every Child in Every Community Needs A Fair Go” because not all children are receiving equal care and this is making child protection and the mission of safeguarding even more relevant in 2021,” Safeguarding Program Director Andrea Musulin said.
The ticketed event ($55 per person) will include breakfast and copy of the new safeguarding storybook.
Author of the new story book, Mrs Musulin said the age-appropriate rhyming story book, is versatile and able to educate children at home, in churches or in the classroom.
“I was inspired to write a book that teaches children that, when it comes to their bodies, God created boundaries and assures them that it is okay to tell a trusted adult if someone touches them inappropriately,” Mrs Musulin said.
The theme for this year’s Child Protection Week (1 to 7 September) and Child Protection Breakfast on 9 September is ‘Every Child in Every Community Needs A Fair Go.’ Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
“This book provides simple but powerful, developmentally appropriate messages that every child needs to know about their bodies.
“I think this is our best work to date and this year we have also produced a song that accompanies the story book which will be available via a quick response (QR) code download at no cost,” she added.
Mrs Musulin said that since 2019, the Safeguarding Office has done much work in the areas of developing the new National Safeguarding Standards as set out by Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd (formerly CPSL) and have incorporated Adults at Risk into the mandate of the Perth Safeguarding Program.
This year’s Safeguarding Breakfast organised by the Archdiocese of Perth will take place at Duxton Hotel on 8 September. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
“We have updated the Safeguarding Policy and Procedures handbook in line with the new Safeguarding Standards to deliver and promote a nationally consistent, comprehensive and sustainable framework for the protection of children and adults at risk within the Archdiocese,” Ms Musulin explained.
“We have also been working to create environments where safety and well-being is the centre of everything we do, including our thoughts, values, and actions.
“We have also included a new section in the Safeguarding Handbook designed to help all clergy, religious and church workers (paid and unpaid) to maintain the standards expected of them in line with best practice, state and commonwealth statutory legislation, and Canon Law,” she added.
Mrs Musulin reiterated the importance of Safeguarding in Catholic communities, and the importance of supporting Archdiocesan events such as the Safeguarding Breakfast.
“Our breakfast is also about acknowledging and thanking the safeguarding army in our parishes for their commitment and dedication to their roles as Parish Safeguarding Officers,” Mrs Musulin cited.
“They all do such a tremendous job, and we have such a strong program due to their involvement throughout the year and in particular during National Child Protection Week every year.”