Message from the State Ambassador for Queensland Children's Week
Steve Armitage, Principal Commissioner for Queensland Family &
I am honoured to be the State Ambassador for Queensland Children's Week 2014.
Children's Week provides an opportunity to celebrate children and their achievements. It is also a time for us to raise awareness of children's rights.
Each year, the Children's Week theme highlights an article from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and this year's theme is 'Celebrating Children - Respect for the views of the child' (Article 12 from the UN Convention).
This article states that children have the right to express their views and have them taken seriously, in accordance with their age and maturity. It calls on us to acknowledge that children - even very young children - given the time and opportunity, have views, experiences and perspectives to express, and that this expression can contribute positively to decisions that affect their health and wellbeing.
A child's right to be heard applies to every aspect of their life – at home, in school, in play and leisure, in the courts and in communities. Children's views provide a valuable source to inform policy and practice and enable us to advocate for improved outcomes . For example, policy makers cannot identify barriers to fulfilling children's rights if they do not hear from children about the existence and nature of those barriers.
Research suggests that children and young people want to have their views heard and considered. Therefore, I encourage you to make time to listen to the children in your lives. Together, we can build environments in which children are recognised as active citizens, contributing both to decisions that affect their own lives as well as to their communities and wider society.
Please show your support for Children's Week this year by participating in some of the many activities being organised across the state by our talented schools, childcare centres, play groups, libraries and cultural and community groups.
I look forward to celebrating Children's Week with you.
Queensland Family & Child Commission