The first Queensland’s first Children’s Week Committee was formed with the aid of the Superintendents and Matrons Association, City of Brisbane City Lions Club and the Department of Children’s Services, under the name of the Child Care Week Committee in 1971. As in other States it’s major objective was to heighten community awareness of the needs, interests and achievements of children under the care of the Department, or equivalent in other States.
These children, who were not living with their natural parents, resided in large residential’s, family group homes or foster care and the Committee focussed on their needs especially through public seminars offering workers training and opportunities to reflect on their practice.
Media coverage was sought to highlight the needs of these children but gradually the large residential’s closed down and the Committee began to widen its focus to include all children within the general community. Links were made over time with a variety of organisations including the Creche & Kindergarten Association, kindergartens, government-funded, community and private child care centres, Family Day Care Schemes, Playgroup Association, Neighbourhood Centres, Playground and Recreation The Association, Drug Arm, Crossroads, UNICEF, church organisations and public and private primary and secondary schools.
The International Year of the Child reinforced the focus on all children and the Committee changed its name to Children’s Week Committee.
The Commonwealth Government was anxious that Universal (the Children’s Day fourth Wednesday in October) should be celebrated throughout Australia and requested all State and Territory
Children’s Week Committees to agree to hold their celebration ( formerly held at different times according to local convenience) in the Week including Universal Children’s Day. In return an annual grant of $2,000 would be made to each State and Territory Committee, towards the cost of Children’s Week celebrations.
The Queensland Government, through the Department of Children’s Services, agreed to match this grant and has increased its financial support over the time to the 1995 level of $9,490
As the work and membership of the Committee grew the need to formalise the organisation structure led to the framing of the Constitution and a successful application for incorporation under the Religious, Education and the Charitable Institution Act, with a change of name to the Queensland Children’s Week Association Inc.
The first moves took place towards the establishment of a National Children’s Week Body. The Queensland Association was involved from the earliest days in the correspondence, discussions and meetings.
With financial and other assistance from State Government a very successful National Conference and Annual General meeting of State and Territory Children’s Week Committees was hosted by the Queensland Association in Brisbane.
Adoption of Constitution and Incorporation of the National body under the name of the Children’s Week Council of Australia Inc., with provision for National Conferences and Annual General Meetings at which major decisions would be made, including national themes, national posters designs, and which State or Territory Committees should provide Council officers and take responsibility for operation of the National Secretariat for a subsequent two year period.
Mr. Leigh Shenfield (Queensland Association) was appointed Vice President of the Australian Council
The Queensland Association took responsibility for providing Council officers and operation of the National Secretariat from March 1993 to March, 1995. During that period the Constitution was examined, necessary changes drafted and adopted and guidelines and procedures refined. National Theme and is:- ” A Caring World Shares.”
The Queensland Association is sponsoring a Time Capsule project called ” Worth Seeing” a Children’s video project managed by Browne Enterprise and funded by the Centenary Federation of Queensland.
The Children’s Week Committee, has since 1971 received recurrent funding from the State Government . Since 1980 the Federal Government has also been contributing $2000 per annum. These monies are administered through the Department of Families, Youth and Community Care. Last year’s the grants totalled $15,290.
The Queensland Association has the responsibility for providing Council officers and operation of the National Secretariat from March 2001 to March, 2004.
Dr Robin Sullivan retired from public office at the end of last year and we are happy to announce the new Patrons of the Association are the Govenor of Queensland, Penelope Wensley AO, and the Director General of Department of Child Safety, Norelle Deeth. This year During Children’s Week Steven Renouf was appointed the State Ambassador and Terri Irwin and her family,( Bindi and Robert) were appointed the First Family Ambassadors of the Association during the launch of Children’s week. In May three Junior Ambassador were appointed in May and they are Annabelle Ganko, Arkie Barton and Sophie Garrett .
The three Junior Ambassador have been appointed for a further year and are Annabelle Ganko, Arkie Barton and Sophie Garrett. Next year, 2011 the Association will be celebrating its 40th year and hope it will be a sucessful year involving the whole Strate celebrating children. The Children’Week Council finally won the court battle and it has now been trademark.
We are celebrating our 40th Anniversary of Children’s Week in Queensland.
Junior Master Chef Twins Isabella & Sofia Bliss & Harry Peucker were appointed as Junior Ambassadors for 2012-2014.
We were honoured that Steve Armitage (Interim Principal Commissioner Qld Family & Child Commission) was appointed as the State Ambassador for Children’s Week in Queensland.
We were honoured that Cheryl Vardon accepted the role of State Ambassador (Principal Commissioner Qld Family & Child Commission) mid-October keeping the partnership between the Commission and Queensland Children’s Week Association . Rosie Sellars was appointed as Junior Ambassador for 2015-2017.
This year we celebrate our 45 th year organising Children’s Week in Queensland in partnership from the early days with the Department of Child Care followed by the Department of Children, Department of Families and now the Department of Early Childhood, a section of the Department of Education. Both the Children’s Commission and the Daniel Morcombe Foundation have been involved with the Association for several years.