NAIDOC Week 2023 Events image

As we approach National Child Protection Week from 3 to 9 September 2023, we are reminded once again of the critical importance of creating a safe and nurturing environment for every child in every community. This year's theme, "Where we start matters," perfectly encapsulates the essence of this initiative.

A Fair Go for Every Child

"Every child in every community needs a fair go." It's a rallying call to ensure that no child is left behind, no matter their background, circumstances, or challenges. This sentiment underpins National Child Protection Week, an annual event that underscores the collective responsibility we share in safeguarding the well-being of our youngest generation.

From Awareness to Action

National Child Protection Week isn't just a time to reflect on the issues; it's a call to action. It reminds us that the well-being of children is a matter that concerns us all. This initiative is based on the fundamental principle that "protecting children is everyone's business." It's not limited to parents or caregivers alone; it's a shared commitment that involves communities, institutions, and society at large.

The Complexity of Child Abuse and Neglect

Child abuse and neglect are deeply complex issues that require our attention and empathy. National Child Protection Week serves as a platform to raise awareness about these multifaceted challenges. By acknowledging the intricacies involved, we take the first step towards creating meaningful change. It's about understanding that a child's safety isn't just a personal matter – it's a societal concern that demands our united effort.

The Numbers Speak

The statistics can be sobering, but they also fuel our determination to make a difference. As of June 2022, a staggering 61,100 children were on care and protection orders. This figure breaks down to 24,600 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and 36,500 non-Indigenous children. These numbers are more than mere statistics; they represent individual lives that need our support.

Furthermore, the data reveals that 45,400 children were in out-of-home care as of the same date. Of this group, 19,400 were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, while 25,900 were non-Indigenous children. These numbers serve as a stark reminder of the challenges many children face in finding stable and secure living situations.

Starting Strong, Starting Right

"Where we start matters" – this theme encapsulates the essence of National Child Protection Week 2023. It emphasises that a child's life trajectory is profoundly influenced by their early experiences and surroundings. By providing a safe and nurturing environment from the very beginning, we can empower children to reach their full potential.

As individuals and as a society, we have the power to shape these beginnings. Whether through supporting parents, advocating for policies, or lending a helping hand to those in need, our actions have a ripple effect that extends far beyond the present moment.

National Child Protection Week serves as a powerful reminder that the safety and well-being of children are paramount. This year's theme, "Where we start matters," prompts us to reflect on the crucial role we play in creating a secure and supportive environment for every child. From acknowledging the complexity of child abuse and neglect to understanding the significance of early experiences, this initiative encourages us to be active participants in safeguarding the future of our children.

As National Child Protection Week approaches, let's come together to champion the cause of every child, because every child truly deserves a fair start in life.



Source: Supplementary data table S4.9

Source: Supplementary data table S5.5


HREOC (Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission) (1997), Bringing them home: Report of the national Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families- external site opens in new window, HREOC, accessed 6 February 2023.

Related links:

1. Source: Supplementary data table S4.9


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