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National Child Protection Week 2022

See below for information about the NCPW 2022 webinar series, designed to support the theme:

Every child, in every community, needs a fair go.

In particular, this year we will be shining a light on children growing up safe and supported.

Supported by Department of Social Services. 

National Child Protection Week Launch

National Child Protection Week 2022 was officially launched by the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency, Mrs Linda Hurley

The launch included a keynote address by Anne Hollonds, National Children’s Commissioner, who shared ideas and insights from children and young people and highlighted what they need to be safe and well, now and into the future. 

Anne Hollonds is Australia’s National Children’s Commissioner. Formerly Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, for 23 years Anne was Chief Executive of government and non-government organisations focussed on research, policy and practice in child and family wellbeing. As a psychologist Anne has worked extensively in frontline practice, including child protection, family violence, mental health, child/family counselling, parenting education and community development. Anne has two small grandchildren.

Safe and Supported: How is Australia coming together at the national level to protect our children?

Children thrive in safe and supported communities. 

But right now, many families aren’t receiving the support they need, and children are experiencing serious adversity.  

What do our national leaders believe needs to happen to create environments that enable children and young people to reach their full potential? 

In this conversation representatives who have worked on the new Safe & Supported: National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children, explained how it will bring together government, services and communities to reduce child abuse and neglect and its inter-generational impacts.

Watch the recording to find out more about how the National Plan will be transformed into action, and the part that we can all play, in our many roles across government, child and family services, community organisations, families or as individuals.


  • Jamie Crosby, CEO, Families Australia
  • Catherine Liddle, CEO, SNAICC
  • Tim Crosier, Manager Children’s Policy Branch, Department of Social Services
  • Fiona Ward, Deputy Chief Executive, Department for Child Protection, SA

Facilitated by Anne Hollonds, National Children’s Commissioner

Jamie Crosby brings an extensive network of community sector, government and business relationships and advocacy experience to the CEO Families Australia role. Jamie has worked in youth and family accommodation services, juvenile justice, housing and homelessness support programs, and organisations delivering community services and member-based advocacy. He also has deep experience in the Federal public service having spent the past decade working in Indigenous Affairs within the National Indigenous Australians Agency and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. A youth and family worker by training, Jamie holds a Master of Public Policy, a BA in Youth Affairs and has successfully completed the AICD’s Company Directors course.

Catherine Liddle is Chief Executive Officer for SNAICC – National Voice for our Children. An Arrernte/Luritja woman from Central Australia, Catherine has been a leading advocate in upholding the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on a national, regional and local level. Catherine has held senior management positions in First Nations organisations including First Nations Media and Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnerships, as well as within the Northern Territory Education Department, the ABC and NITV/SBS. A journalist by trade, Catherine’s motivation has always been to drive change that leads to positive outcomes and options for First Nations people. Over the past 10 years she has led multidisciplinary teams, overseen workplace transformations, and advocated for policy reform. Catherine is the CEO for SNAICC – National Voice for our Children, the national non-governmental peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children that works for the fulfilment of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, in particular to ensure their safety, development and wellbeing.

Tim Crosier is currently the Branch Manager of Children’s Policy Branch in the Australian Government Department of Social Services. He has worked in a number of Australian and UK government departments across a variety of different social policy areas, including social security, early childhood and school education, families, social exclusion, as well as public and mental health.

Fiona Ward PSM is the Deputy Chief Executive of the South Australian Department for Child Protection. Fiona has a strong record in strategic policy at a senior executive level, driving organisational change, leading intergovernmental negotiations, embedding accountability frameworks and building key partnerships. Fiona has been responsible for the successful delivery of major projects including in child protection and Aboriginal affairs and has experience in building successful collaborations across the health, early intervention and domestic violence sectors.

How deep connection to culture is keeping children safe and supported.

Children thrive when they live in families and communities with a positive sense of identity and culture. 

But 200 years of dispossession and dislocation – along with today’s outdated systems – means that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and children have been displaced from their culture. 

This webinar provided first-hand stories about what culture is, what it means, and how it is being used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to create safe and supportive environments for children.

Together, we can build a future where all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have the opportunities to grow up safe in their families, strong in their identities, and connected to their cultures.


  • Isaiah Dawe, Butchulla and Garawa Salt Water Aboriginal man, and founder of ‘ID. Know Yourself’ will share his story of how culture and belonging can help to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
  • Nicole Hucks, Acting Northern Territory Children’s Commissioner is responsible for ensuring the wellbeing of the Territory’s most vulnerable children, and knows firsthand the importance of connection and culture.
  • Kylie Captain, Author and Educator from Dream Big Education Wellbeing & Consulting is an author of her recently published book Dream Big and Imagine the What If. Her story is a testament to the strength of culture, kin and connection to Country.

Isaiah Dawe is a proud Butchulla and Gawara Salt Water man. His skin name is Yakamarri and his personal totems are the swamp wallaby, grey shark and his community totem is a dolphin. He grew up within the foster care system from when he was 2 months old until he was 18 years old, suffering all sorts of disadvantages and abuse. These struggles are what prompted Isaiah to create the ID Know Yourself company and incorporate his experiences to form the core in enabling the success for those young people currently going through the system. Isaiah has studied IPROWD, as course enabling Aboriginal people enter the NSW Police Force and studied workforce essentials at Charles Sturt University and he also completed his High School Certificate. To list just a handful of Isaiah’s accolades achieved, he was the 2017 winner of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the year award TAFE NSW, and the first Indigenous person to win TAFE NSW Graduate of the year, 2017 National Indigenous Youth Parliamentarian – future leaders (winner of the major award – positive influencer), the 2018 First Indigenous person to become the chair of the NSW Youth Advisory Committee, a part of the first Indigenous team to sail in the Sydney to Hobart and Sydney to Gold Coast Yacht Race and he is well known as a young leader within the Redfern community.

Nicole Hucks is a Larrakia/Wadjigan and Arrernte Aboriginal woman from the Northern Territory and is currently the Acting Commissioner in the Office of the Children’s Commissioner Northern Territory. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Social Work and has defined her career in child and family welfare, with experience in child protection, youth justice, out of home care, as well as program and policy development.

Kylie Captain is a proud Gamilaroi woman, born and raised in the inner-city Sydney suburbs of Redfern and Waterloo. She is an educational leader and author and recently published book Dream Big and Imagine the What If is making a difference to the lives of many across Australia and abroad. Kylie is the President of the Aboriginal Studies Association and over the past 22 years, she has had an impressive career in Aboriginal Education, child protection, finance and community services. Her lived experience as a proud Aboriginal woman growing up in community enables her to lead participants on a thought-provoking journey of change to work towards a more united country with improved outcomes for Aboriginal students, families and communities.

Supporting young parents with an out-of-home care experience

In partnership with the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS)

Many young people with experience of out-of-home care (OOHC) have complex histories of trauma and neglect and generally poorer health, education and employment outcomes than their peers. They are also more likely to become parents at a young age and to have their children enter the child protection system or be taken into care. Evidence suggests that trauma-informed and therapeutic models of support can lead to better outcomes. This webinar is of interest to practitioners working in the child, family welfare sector who support young parents with experience of OOHC.


  • Jade Purtell, Manager, Peer worker models for transitions from care. Monash University.
  • Kylie Bolland, Team Leader at Caboolture Young Mothers for Young Women
  • Naima Ali, Youth Support Worker, Residential Care

Facilitated by Stewart Muir, Executive Manager of the Child & Family Evidence research program at the Australian Institute of Family Studies

Jade Purtell is a multidisciplinary researcher and practitioner focused on out-of-home care and transitions from care experiences and policy. Her own work in out-of-home care and transitions from care research and youth participation has informed the development of the Adaptive Participation Model that provides a pragmatic guide to implementing new participatory initiatives in research, policy and practice. Jade works across academia and the community sector to promote young people’s participation in policy development and decision-making. Jade has recently been working with the CREATE DFFH Better Futures Youth Expert Advisory Group and BSL on the practice framework for statewide reforms to transition from care services and is undertaking her PhD at Monash University on care leavers and early pregnancy and parenting.

Kylie Bolland has worked in communities across Queensland for over 25 years supporting individuals and families, with an emphasis on working alongside young families. She has a particular interest in supporting women impacted by domestic and family violence, homelessness or involved with the child protection system.
She is passionate about developing partnerships and building systems collaborations to address systemic responses to families.

Naima Ali – Youth Support Worker, Residential Care: I’m Naima I’m 24, and I have a beautiful 9-year-old son. In my role as a youth support worker, I help young people achieve goals they’ve set, and try to keep them engaged. I’m also studying a Bachelor of Social Science Majoring in Criminology. In 2020 I started working with CREATE, the national consumer body representing the voices of ALL children and young people in out-of-home care. At CREATE, I’ve been part of different workshops/projects, I meet the most amazing people, I am learning to use my voice a lot more, and I have learned how important Young People with lived experience, voices and stories are. I’ll be sharing insights from my experience as a parent who started my journey as a mother in Residential Care.

Stewart Muir has more than 25 years’ experience as a researcher in private consultancy, academia and government and has extensive experience of developing and administering multi-method research and evaluation projects. He has led projects on military families, out-of-home care, service provision to families, and building service capacity for evidence-based practice. He also has extensive experience working with Australian First Peoples and communities experiencing disadvantage. In addition to his subject matter expertise, Stewart has taught and published on qualitative research methods.

Are Aussie kids OK? Preview data from the Australian Child Maltreatment Study

This presentation shared some emerging findings from the first-ever Australian Child Maltreatment Study (ACMS). 

Importantly, we heard about the impact of child neglect and exposure to domestic and family violence on major mental health diagnoses (Major Depression, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and PTSD) in adolescents. It also covered associations between corporal punishment and later mental health, and the overlap with specific forms of maltreatment.

The learnings around the long-term impacts of maltreatment and potential prevention and early intervention strategies are useful for anyone working with children or in the social services sector – both for policy and practice. 


  • Professor Ben Mathews, Lead Investigator Child Maltreatment Study, QUT
  • Professor Daryl Higgins, Director of the ACU Institute of Child Protection Studies
  • Dr Divna Haslam, Senior Research Fellow & Clinical Psychologist, QUT

Facilitated by Rani Kumar, Head of Policy and Campaigns, NAPCAN. 

The full report of the study will be released in 2023. For more information, visit the Child Maltreatment Study website.

Professor Ben Mathews is a Professor in the School of Law at Queensland University of Technology and Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is an internationally renowned researcher into child maltreatment, and is Lead Investigator of the NHMRC-funded Australian Child Maltreatment Study.

Professor Daryl Higgins is Director of the Institute of Child Protection Studies. His research focuses on public health approaches to protecting children, and child-safe organisational strategies. He is one of the chief investigators on the first national prevalence study of child maltreatment in Australia. A registered psychologist, Professor Higgins has been researching child abuse impacts and prevention, family violence and family functioning for over 25 years.

Dr Divna Haslam is a clinical psychologist and parenting researcher with < 15 years experience. Her research focusses on modifying family risk and protective factors and enhancing parenting to ensure all children have the opportunity to thrive in safe, stable family environments free of violence.

Creating a ‘one-stop shop’ for the needs of families: Co-design, evaluation & sustaining change

Children thrive when families get the support they need when they need it. 

But when families – especially those with complex needs – have to travel all over town in search of the right services, they are unlikely to get the support they need. 

With around 100 child/family hubs across Australia, many of us will be familiar with the model of co-locating health (medical & allied health) and social services (eg housing, domestic and family violence, addiction, financial and parenting advice). However, until now there has been limited research and evaluation about how best to design and create hubs to meet the needs of families. 

In this webinar, experts from the National Child and Family Hub Network, shared learnings from their co-design process, evaluation, and evidence, including: 

  • What families are telling us they need
  • The core elements of the ideal hub
  • How ‘social prescribing’ needs to sit alongside medical prescribing
  • How existing hubs and health centres can start to shift toward a more integrated model  

Presenters from Murdoch Children’s Research Institute:

  • Professor Harriet Hiscock, Associate Director of Research at the Centre for Community Child Health
  • Dr Suzy Honisett, Postdoctoral Research Officer
  • Dr Tess Hall, Postdoctoral Fellow

Facilitated by Rani Kumar, Head of Policy and Campaigns, NAPCAN. 

Professor Harriet Hiscock is Associate Director of Research at the Centre for Community Child Health, Consultant Paediatrician and NHMRC Practitioner Fellow. She is Director of the Royal Children’s Hospital Health Services Research Unit, Group Leader of the Health Services group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Director of the Australian Paediatric Research Network, and Principal Fellow, Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne.

Suzy Honisett has over 10 years’ experience managing research projects and large complex public health projects, many of which have focused on child health outcomes. Suzy has extensive experience in public health project development, implementation, evaluation and stakeholder relationship management. Suzy’s has a PhD in Health Sciences and a Master of Public Health, with a major in public health policy. Suzy’s work within the Centre is focused on scaling up successful components of the model to be implemented more broadly at a state and national level.

Tess Hall is a public health professional with ten years of research and policy experience in the Victorian, Australian and international mental health and social systems. Tess is interested in the participation of people, families and communities in mental health research and system development, including through co-design and participatory methodologies. Tess’ PhD from the Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne (under examination) investigated the acceptability and feasibility of ‘people-centred’ approaches to mental health care in Timor-Leste. Tess also holds a First Class Honours in Psychological Science (University of Queensland) and an MSc Public Health (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). Tess brings her experience working with communities, government and non-government organisations to support the Centre to co-develop interventions to promote child and family mental health in Wyndham (Theme B).