Today is Australia Day and I am reposting this article from my Child Protection: Serious Business site. In the Australian state that I live in, Protective Behaviours are embedded into school curricula and across all key learning areas. Therefore, I have considered it appropriate to share this post with home school families who may be looking for some material on Protective Behaviours or Personal Safety. For some home school activities on protective behaviours visit Toys, Books and Games Protect Kids.
We Aussies celebrate Australia Day as a public holiday, have barbeques, go to the beach, watch or participate in sporting events or gather with family and mates and eat meat pies, lamingtons and pavlova. Australia is so much more than Meat Pies, great beaches and Kangaroos though. Australia is all about protecting our environment: including the environment of people and especially children.
On January 26, 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip took formal possession of the colony of New South Wales and became its first Governor. This day flagged the foundation day of the new colony, the new world, Australia.
Australia is a harsh land. The cruel sun and elements have made Aussies tough, survivors, resourceful and tenacious. Our isolation led to ingenuity and leadership. Although quick to cut down those Aussies that we consider, “tall poppies” we also pride ourselves on the concept of being a "true blue" mate.
Mateship is integral to the Aussie way of life. We look out for our mates and give them a hand when required. Is this the reason then that Australians have adopted, adapted and take seriously protective behaviours? We want to protect our mates.
Although the original protective behaviour program dealt specifically with child sexual abuse, Australia is responsible for widening the program to ensure that we look out for all community members needing protection from any element of harm. The Aussie way of life co-exists in many risk-taking situations: the beach with its sharks, crocodiles or surf, the outback with its snakes and spiders, the gum treed bush with its propensity to flood, drought and bush fire, and the cities with its pull of escaping to the wild colonial landscape. Add to this crime, fear of crime and the lessons we have learnt from other densely populated countries and my view is that Australia has got it right with their all encompassing protective behaviour programs and their views of looking out for our mates.
Happy Australia Day mate. How about you help us celebrate by enacting our mateship values. Look out for the people in your neighbourhood, apartment block or family. Engage in some protective behaviours and help keep the world’s children safe. Lend a child a hand, a smile, ring the authorities about that public playground equipment that needs fixing, report child abuse if you suspect it is happening.
Imaginif is about to launch the world’s biggest on-line child protection conversation and we hope that you will join us. The more mates we have, the quicker the world will understand that child protection IS serious business.
Some other blogs about Australia Day if you’re interested:
G’day Mate. Australia Day, true blue!
A nation of bonzer cringers?
Australia Day 2007
Google vs Microsoft on Australia Day
Australia Week. G’day LA and NYBest vacation destinations
The story of a great Australian woman.