Keeping our children safe

CONNECTING: Mid Murray Family Connections' Natalie Davis with Indi Quinn, Riley Davis and Jackson Davis. Photo: Nick Grimm.
CONNECTING: Mid Murray Family Connections' Natalie Davis with Indi Quinn, Riley Davis and Jackson Davis. Photo: Nick Grimm.

Child safety and well-being should be a priority for all, and one Fund My Neighbourhood (FMN) program is all about gathering information to make sure the region’s children are taken care of and developing. 

If successful in receiving funding, Mid Murray Council’s Family Connections (MMFC) would develop an interactive roadshow in order to reach all areas around the council to gather information to help combat child vulnerability. 

The roadshow would tie into Child Protection Week, running from September 2-8, 2018, and would visit every school, kindergarten and playgroup to ask children:

  • What they like about their community
  • What they would like to change about their community

MMFC’s community mobiliser Janet Barnett said the program would be a mix of traditional face-to-face interaction and newer technologies.

Information would be collected in a variety of creative ways including pictures, interviews, letters, poems and crafts, while also utilising the digital space, through Youtube and similar platforms

“We would use different tools to make sure that we’re able to gather how the children are feeling about their communities and other environments they are exposed to,” she said.

Ms Barnett said, rather than interviewing parents, the program would be about listening to the children’s perspective.

“Adults don’t always pick up on signs that kids might be struggling, so we’ll make sure we have tools to understand,” she said. 

“Sometimes children don’t express through words, they might paint or draw, so it will be important to have all other options available.”

Ms Barnett said the 2015 Australian Early Development Census (ARDC) showed children in the Mid Murray area were considered to be quite vulnerable in several categories compared to other council areas around the state. 

“Emotional vulnerability was a key area we knew we had to improve on and we really think this roadshow will help us better understand how the children are actually feeling,” she said. 

Other good ideas

  • Electronic scoreboard: Installation of new electronic scoreboard at Mannum Football Club
  • Car park upgrade and storage beautification: Beautify storage area, seal car park and extend high fencing
  • Boat ramp pontoon: pontoon to entry and exit for kayaks and boats
  • Fitness park: provision of an Adult Fitness Park
  • Temperature relief: Climate control upgrade for gymnasium and swimming pool

To cast your vote, head to www.fundmyneighbourhood.yoursay.sa.gov.au. Voting closes November 20.