Australia’s largest child protection advocate Bravehearts has called on the Sunshine Coast to make the pledge to protect the country’s most vulnerable souls this White Balloon Day.
Now in its 23rd year, the annual event is the charity’s signature fundraising and awareness initiative and encourages Australians to work together to protect kids from child sexual assault.
With this year’s White Balloon Day to be held on Friday, 6 September, Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston has called on community members to show their commitment to child protection by ‘signing’ the powerful online Pledge.
“They say it takes a village to raise a child and the same goes for protecting them,” Ms Johnston said.
“It is not enough for only parents and people who work with children to watch out for them. It doesn’t matter what one’s job is, we all have a responsibility to speak up if we see something that doesn’t seem right when it comes to children.
“For 23 years Bravehearts has used White Balloon Day to inspire a conversation about society’s greatest scourge. This year we are asking people to take a few seconds to formally declare they will not only talk the talk but walk the walk when it comes to protecting our children.”
The Pledge, which can be found on the Bravehearts website, only requires a name and email address, with pledgers given the option of receiving a free supporter pack.
“Making the Pledge is relatively simple but crucially important because it helps us show the Federal Government the number of Australians who are passionate about child protection,” Ms Johnston said.
“Bravehearts has changed the face of child protection in this country since 1996 but our ongoing challenge is to make governments realise the public is united in our desire for them to commit more resources and take urgent action needed to tackle the issue.
“The more people who make the Pledge on White Balloon Day, the more our voices will be heard.”
White Balloon Day is also a key fundraiser for Bravehearts, with more than 1900 events across the country last year raising precious dollars for vital education, counselling, training and case management services.
Fundraising events can be as simple as hosting a white morning tea, organising a wear-white-towork (or school) day or encouraging the community to participate in a wear-white walk.
“As well as raising desperately needed funds so we can continue to teach children personal safety skills, White Balloon Day events inspire conversations within the community about a notoriously difficult subject,” Ms Johnston said.
“Child sexual assault and exploitation are horrific crimes but research shows talking about their prevalence, their impact and how to protect our children helps prevent them.”
To make the Pledge, visit www.whiteballoonday.com.au/pledge
To donate or for more on hosting a White Balloon Day event, visit www.whiteballoonday.com.au/fundraise
Need to talk to someone? Bravehearts is here to help - 1800 272 831 or www.bravehearts.org.au