Australian child protection organisation Bravehearts has welcomed Southern Downs Regional Council’s (SDRC) participation in White Balloon Day taking place Friday 7 September during National Child Protection Week (2 to 7 September).

Bravehearts’ White Balloon Day is one of Australia’s only national awareness and fundraising campaigns dedicated to preventing child sexual assault, through generating awareness to help educate children, parents and adults of the need to do more to protect kids from a crime that affects more than 60,000 children in Australia annually. Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Tracy Dobie said children have a right to their childhood, to be protected and safe. “We must break the silence on child sexual abuse in our community,” said Tracy.

Founder and Executive Chair of Bravehearts Hetty Johnston AM encourages everyone to take part in White Balloon Day to help spread the word on the cause. “We’re delighted SDRC has joined forces with Bravehearts to participate in White Balloon Day as part of National Child Protection Week to increase awareness of the importance of child protection and raise essential funds to support Bravehearts’ vital work,” said Hetty. “In Australia, a child is sexually assaulted every 90 minutes – that’s one in five children who are sexually harmed in some way before their 18th Birthday – a statistic that is totally unacceptable in Australian society. Child protection is everybody’s business with local governments among the most important stakeholders in child protection. By working with Bravehearts, together we can create safer communities for all Australian children.”

SDRC will host sausage sizzles at Warwick Town Hall and Stanthorpe Plaza, from 12pm to 1:30pm on Friday 7 September for a gold coin donation in a bid to raise awareness on child safety. All proceeds will be directly donated to the White Balloon Appeal.

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