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The Peak Partnership has been a committed supporter and advocate of ACT for Kids charity for almost two decades, so it gives us great pleasure to report that the Director of their SafeKIDS Program has received a Child Protection Week Award.
At the awards announcement on Thursday 30 August, Kieran Smith received the Professional (non-government) Award for outstanding contribution to promoting child protection issues in his capacity as a professional working in the child protection field. The award is due recognition of Kieren's enormous contribution to child protection in Far North Queensland.
Child Safety Minister Tracy Davis said the Child Protection Week Awards recognised the innovative and often challenging work of individuals and organisations in strengthening Queensland’s child protection sector.
“Each year, we have an opportunity to publicly acknowledge the dedication, commitment and unreserved energy of many people who make a significant contribution to our community to prevent child abuse and neglect,” Ms Davis said.
ACT for Kids Chief Execuitve, Neil Carrington said Kieran was instrumental in the establishment of ACT for Kids first safe house in Doomadgee and his approach became the blueprint for establishing the four other houses and programs in Aurukun, Napranum, Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw.
"Before the safe houses existed, these children were often removed from community and living as far away as Cairns or Mt Isa, where they had no contact with their family, local culture or community," Mr Carrington said.
"Kieran was a Family Coach in the RAI Program in Cairns and also a foster carer when he was asked to establish the Doomadgee safe house. He relocated his family over 1,000 km away, moved into the house and spent six months connecting with the community and establishing the program."
As Program Manager for the Doomadgee house, Kieran prepared the house to accommodate up to six children in a safe, welcoming home environment and hired and trained local staff. He engaged local elders and the community, patiently explaining the role of the house and ACT for Kids, and developing a shared vision and responsibility for the protection and wellbeing of children.
Because of Kieran's community engagement and genuine care for Indigenous children and culture, the Doomadgee safe house has become a source of pride and achievement for the community – they’ve named it Ngulawanda Goonawoona Nathara, Our Children’s Home.
Kieran’s commitment to the care, wellbeing and future of Indigenous children is unfaltering. It was an enormous challenge he took on, and the success of the SafeKIDS Program is a result of his dedication and hard work.
The Peak Partnership would like to congratulate Kieran on this outstanding achievement. We hope your enjoy this success!
At The Peak Partnership, we have a simple philosophy behind our support of ACT for Kids - every child deserves to feel safe and free from harm, regardless of their background. The neglect and abuse of children is not a happy topic - one many of us would like to pretend doesn't exist - but at The Peak Partnership, we hope our small contributiuons can help reduce the incidence and increase the prevention of child abuse.
We see ACT for Kids as a highly-respected community group that champions the protection of children and teens from abuse - something worthy of our support. ACT for Kids also offers councelling, therapy, research and education, as well as advocacy for those children and their families who are subject to all forms of abuse.
ACT for Kids operates therapy centres in Weipa, Cairns, Townsville, Gold Coast and Brisbane, providing outreach and remote services throughout Queensland.
To donate towards the fight against child abuse, visit www.actforkids.com.au or call 1300 228 000.