The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (the Authority) is an organisation committed to child safety and to the implementation of Child Safe principles and procedures.
The Authority is committed to the safety and well-being of all children and young people involved in its activities and programs. The welfare of the children in our care will always be our first priority. We aim to create a child safe and child friendly environment where all children are valued and feel safe.
The Authority is currently drafting a Child Safe Policy that will outline the expectations of the organisation, our staff, and the affiliates and volunteers involved in our programs and at ReefHQ Aquarium to ensure the safety of children in our care. The policy will outline the Authority’s compliance with the requirements of the recently introduced Commonwealth Child Safe Framework.
What is a Child Safe Policy?
Our Child Safe Policy will outline the expectations of the organisation, our staff, and the affiliates and volunteers involved in our programs to ensure the safety of children in our care. The policy will reflect the Authority’s commitment to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of our people, partners and the communities in which we operate. The policy will also reflects the Authority’s legal obligations in relation to the conduct of the Authority activities involving any contact with children.
What are the National Child Safe Principles?
The National Principles reflect ten child safe standards recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, with a broader scope that goes beyond sexual abuse to cover other forms of potential harm. The Principles are fundamental to making an organisation safe for children and young people. The National Principles provide a consistent approach to creating child safe cultures within organisations.
The National Principles are:
- Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture
- Children and young people are informed about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them, and are taken seriously
- Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing
- Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice
- People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice
- Processes for complaints and concerns are child focused
- Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training
- Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing, while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed
- Implementation of the National Child Safe Principles is regularly reviewed and improved
- Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people
Why is the Authority drafting Child Safe Policy and Principles now?
The Authority has always had processes in place to ensure the safety of children in our care, including ensuring compliance of our staff and volunteers with relevant legislation. As a Commonwealth agency, the Authority is developing a Child Safe Policy and supporting framework to ensure compliance with the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework.