G8 Education’s early learning centres in Far North Queensland have reached a major milestone this week – educating 1000 local children in important personal safety lessons through a partnership with Bravehearts.
The milestone was reached at Pelican’s in the City One Centre, as the team and children welcomed Bravehearts’ Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show.
The interactive show helps to empower children to identify uncomfortable feelings like anxiety, to know what to do if they feel unsafe and the difference in small and big secrets and which ones are okay to keep.
Bravehearts’ National Education Operations Manager, Emma Petherick, said the ongoing work in G8 Education centres is vital to improve the safety of Australian children.
“Approximately 1 in 5 children will experience child sexual abuse,” said Ms Petherick.
“Due to confidentiality reasons it is difficult to say exactly how many disclosures are made as a direct result of children seeing this show, however it’s safe to say that we have current or future survivors in every audience we see.”
It is estimated that 1000 children in G8 Education early learning centres in Cairns have participated in Bravehearts’ Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure show since it first took to Australian stages.
G8 Education’s partnership with Bravehearts also extends beyond children’s education, with the two organisations collaborating in 2019 to deliver and develop a sector leading training program for all employees to ensure all children are protected.
“Bravehearts continues to provide consultation to support educators to have only positive interactions with our children and the knowledge to pick up on any signs of abuse or neglect which may be occurring,” said Ms Petherick.
G8 Education Chief Operating Officer, Malcolm Ashcroft, said child safety is the company’s highest priority.
“We prioritise creating child friendly environments where all children are respected, valued and encouraged to reach their potential,” he said.
“Our purpose is to create the foundations for learning for life and that extends to the classroom and daily life.”
Every G8 Education centre also has a Child Protection Champion who works to embed practices into centres by supporting and educating team members and promoting a child safe culture.
The Pelicans in the City One Child Protection Champion, Mayara Rocha, said she leads her team’s participation in ongoing training and monthly focused discussions to ensure everyone is aware of their obligations.
“It is important for us as educators to take the time to reflect and recognise what we are being asked to do in relation to reporting and supporting,” she said.
“I also like to make sure everyone understands why the training is so essential, and how it impacts not just children’s safety but also benefits families and the whole community.
“Our educators must be educated and empowered before we can educate our children.”
All G8 Education educators also complete and sign an ‘I Will Statement’ which is a commitment to child protection and safety that is displayed in centre for families to view.
For more information on Pelicans in the City One or book a personalised tour, visit the website here.