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Mural to raise awareness of child protection

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The mural painted at YMCA Bundaberg ahead of Child Protection Week.

A number of the region’s youth have taken part in a mural painting at Bundaberg YMCA which symbolises safety and discussion ahead of Child Protection Week in September.

The mural illustrates how to be heard and reflects on the theme of ‘protecting children is everybody’s business’.

Local artist Nefret Vickers was engaged to support the participants and assist in the development of the mural.

“This project has been put together by the Child Protection Week Action Group and they have been getting a whole bunch of young people involved in a mural that talks about child safety,” she said.

“What that means to them, what that looks like to them… they have an opportunity to input their own ideas.”

The mural project has been supported by Taubmans Paint.

According to staff member Mandy Ohlbrecht, the business was able to provide the participants with an opportunity to get even more creative with their colour choices.

“Within our business we have colour creation so some of the colours that have been going on the walls have actually been created by the children themselves,” she said

“They've named those colours whatever they have wanted to name them, and those colours are now in our system for life.”

While the week will be marked from Sunday 4 September to Saturday 10 September, the mural has been unveiled and is now on show at the Bundaberg YMCA.

A presentation of the mural project will be shown at Bundaberg Child Protection Week Annual Dinner on Friday 9 September.

Bundaberg Regional Council’s Community Services portfolio spokesperson Cr Tracey McPhee recently visited the mural and said the project was bringing to light the importance of the safety of children and letting their voices be heard.

“Protecting children is everybody’s’ business and CPWAG do a wonderful job of getting that message out to our community,” Cr McPhee said.

“Every child in our community and our region deserve to be safe and that is what this message is all about, letting their voices be heard.

“We know that the arts are important for childhood learning, although they are especially beneficial for children who have suffered trauma.”

There will be a number of Child Protection Week activities taking place in September including:

• 5 September: Virtual Reality Experience (Bundaberg Regional Library)
• 7 September: park activity to make calming jars (Edon Place)
• 8 September: Think U Know workshop on cybersecurity for parents (Qld Police Service)
• 9 September: Rainbow Day (Under 5's Day) at PCYC (Phoenix House)
• 9 September: Annual Dinner to present Bundaberg Child Protection Award with guest speaker Luke Twyford, Queensland Children's Commissioner

The mural project was an initiative from Child Protection Week Action Group (CPWAG) who are a group of community agencies which develop and present activities for all age groups to promote awareness of Child Protection Week.

Child Protection Week in Queensland is coordinated by the Child Protection Week Committee under the auspicing body of Act for Kids.

In other states NAPCAN runs National Child Protection Week.

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