This is the 30th National Child Protection Week, and the theme this year is:

‘Putting children first’

In context of what 2020 has dealt us, the theme resonates all around us. As adults we have been challenged and tested by the devastation of fires, floods and the pandemic, which for many of us has led to us feeling vulnerable, helpless and overwhelmed. The impact on our children can be more pronounced, as they have far less life experiences and strategies that they can put in place as coping mechanisms.

The National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) was formed to bring about the eradication of child abuse and neglect to the forefront of Australian Society.  The organisation has been fearless in its commitment to bringing child abuse and neglect out of the shadows and putting the wellbeing of all children on the national agenda.

Putting children first means prioritising their wellbeing and safety. Form our work and our lived experiences we know that for children to grow and thrive they need to feel safe and loved, have the opportunities to explore and play in safe environments, access to decent food, shelter and healthcare, and to have a voice in decisions that impact on their lives. Sadly, for many children this is far from their reality. To those of you who are working to make a real difference in the lives of the most vulnerable children; we thank you and stand by you.


Perhaps we need to ask ourselves “How can we come together as a community and put children’s needs first during National Child Protection Week  and every week of the year?”


Kerry Palejs