National Child Protection Week

National Child Protection Week invites all Australians to play their part to promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. “Protecting children is everyone’s business.”

National Child Protection Week, now in its 26th year, supports and encourages the safety and wellbeing of Australian children and families through the Play Your Part Awards, events, programs and resources.

NAPCAN’s campaign aims to provide communities and individuals with practical information on how to ‘Play Your Part’ and to embed primary prevention messages into social discourse. It also provides a platform for communities to be empowered, resourced and mobilised to take action at a local level.

Playing your part can range from encouraging children and young people’s participation in their community to hosting a National Child Protection Week event or promoting a family-friendly environment at your work.

This year NAPCAN encourages you to build on “Protecting Children is Everyone’s Business: Play Your Part” by focussing on the theme ‘Stronger Communities, Safer Children’. This theme emphasises the importance and value of connected communities in keeping children and young people safe and well.

Communities in which children are seen and heard, where their participation is valued and where their families can get the support they need are stronger communities which contribute to keeping children safe and well.

Connections has a zero tolerance towards child abuse and is committed to establishing and maintaining child safe and child friendly environments.

To find out how you can play your part keeping children safe, click here.

07 Sep 2016

Gawler East Primary School students are true global citizens

Gawler East Primary School in South Australia was the recipient of the 2015 Anti-Poverty Awards School Award.

It is the first time in the awards’ history that a primary school has won the award; highlighting children are learning early the value of thinking about others and the call to action which can occur.

“Throughout this whole process our students learnt they can be true global citizens. They realised they have a voice and can promote real change around the world”, said classroom teacher, Ms Anita Marling-Bauer.

“We hope this experience will be just the start of them thinking of others less fortunate than themselves.

“The Anti-Poverty Awards make real for children and young people the knowledge that they can contribute, no matter what age they may be, for the children of today will be the leaders of tomorrow,” said Ms Marling-Bauer.

  • Do you know a young person aged 16-30 working towards tackling inequality and injustice within Australia or abroad?
  • Do you know a school involving and educating its students about poverty-related issues?

If this sounds like you or someone you know, apply now!

Any school or young person aged 16-30 working on a project to overcome poverty within Australia or overseas is encouraged to apply.

Applications for the 2016 Anti-Poverty Awards have been extended until 11:59pm AEST Friday 9 September 2016.

For more information about the awards, visit or contact

Sponsorship opportunity for Anti-Poverty Awards

Sponsorship opportunities are available for the 2016 Anti-Poverty Awards.

The Anti-Poverty Awards, now in its twelfth year, is a national award, which recognises those who are making a significant contribution towards tackling disadvantage and poverty within Australia or abroad.

Sponsorship is a great way of promoting your organisation and sending a message to the community of your organisation’s commitment to supporting and encouraging young Australians who are dedicated to helping those less fortunate.

We will ensure this collaboration compliments your existing brand values, enhances your image, and provides a platform to increase the positive community perception and credibility of your business.

Sponsorship of any form is welcome and the packages can be tailored to suit your needs.

Click here to download our sponsorship package.

For more information about the Anti-Poverty Awards or to discuss sponsorship opportunities available, please contact:

Christine Williams
Connections UnitingCare
Communications Officer
03 8792 8999 or


School Attendance Support Project is a real class act

The School Attendance Support Project is another Connections' program which supports children in their education.

Connections’ Family Services Worker, Sarah works in the School Attendance Support Project (SASP). Mid last year, Sarah received a complex referral to support Michael*, a child in Grade 6 with severe anxiety issues. Michael had only attended school for 1.5 days at the time of referral.

Sarah developed strategies to manage Michael’s anxiety particularly around him leaving his mother. Sarah reinforced a team approach in his return to school with him included in discussions.

Sarah started with driving Michael from home to the school and parking outside the school gates. As his trust grew, Michael progressed by exiting the car and walking around the school oval and eventually meeting with the principal and his class teacher.  

Within a month, Michael started attending school for a one hour block with Sarah providing support the entire time in the classroom.
Together, Sarah and Michael discussed and monitored his anxiety levels and provided ongoing positive encouragement when small goals were achieved. Michael talked through and challenged his negative thoughts enabling him to participate in a return to school plan.

Open communication continues with the school to ensure all parties are aware of the return to school plan. The school principal and reception staff continue to provide positive affirmations when Michael attends school.

Since becoming involved with SASP:

  • Michael initiated social catch ups with friends for the first time in two years.
  • Michael participated in a sleep over at a friend’s home and continues to develop positive peer friendships.  
  • Michael is wearing his school uniform.
  • Michael attended his Grade 6 graduation and transitioned to secondary school.
  • He attended Year 7 camp – his first camp ever.

Michael recently advised Sarah, “My long-term goal is to finish school and go to university and do [sic] social work like you because I would also like to help kids like myself when I grow up. Because I know how awful anxiety can feel. I would be good at helping kids like you do.”

The School Attendance Support Project aims to increase school attendance, facilitate school connectedness, and support community integration. Service delivery is aimed at supporting vulnerable families through intensive outreach family support and addressing blockages to education.

If you would like more information about this program, please contact the Pakenham office on 03 5945 3900.

*Names have been changed

Life is a cabaret

Every young girl aspires to be a singer or a dancer at least once in their life. For Amara, being blind, suffering from mild Cerebral Palsy and having an intellectual disability was not going to stop her from living her dream of one day having a career in music theatre.

A number of years ago Amara’s dreams came true and she performed in Nadrasca Theatre Company’s production of Cabaret. After learning her lyrics and melodies by listening to audio tapes and CDs.

With the support of Connections’ South Eastern Scholarship program, Amara was able to pay for her singing lessons to further her dream of making it onto an even bigger stage.

“By receiving this scholarship, I was able to pay for my singing lessons. This freed me up extra money to make my life easier through having more money for my living expenses that I would have missed out on.” Amara.

Connections’ South Eastern Chances is an innovative scholarship program that provides financial support to children and young people living in south east Melbourne to obtain educational, cultural and social opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

To find out more about Connections' South Eastern Chances program, click here.

To help other young people like Amara pursue their dreams, click here.


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