It’s time to look through the eyes of the child to see what they say makes an organisation child safe

On the 30th anniversary of National Child Protection Week (6 – 12 September, 2020) Commissioner Helen Connolly has released ‘Trust is a Must’ – what does it take to be child friendly and child safe?’
The Commissioner’s latest report examines findings from an online survey of more than 260 South Australian children and young people, the majority of whom were between 12 and 17 years of age (94%) in which the Commissioner asked what they think it takes to be child safe. Children and young people told the Commissioner they want adults to set-up up processes that create a cycle of continuous feedback. They will begin to believe adults are taking them seriously when their complaints, issues and concerns are acted upon in ways children and young people have suggested will work best; not based on assumptions adults have made about a child or young person’s life or situation

Read the full media release here
Download a copy of the report here



Play critical to teenage health and wellbeing new report finds

Commissioner Connolly has today released a new report titled ‘Press Play’. The report examines the findings of a survey of 500 South Australian young people aged 13 – 18 on the importance of play in their lives. While much research focuses on the importance of play for young children, rarely is the importance of play for teenagers examined. Press Play identifies what activities young people define as play, as well as what barriers prevent them from participating in more play. These include having too much homework and not nearly enough ‘play’ time embedded into delivery of their school learning agenda. Governments, civic society and business all have an obligation to build the youth-friendly infrastructure young people need in order to fulfil their need and right to play. The report contains recommendations from young people themselves, on how to embed playfulness into their lives to foster creativity and critical thinking.

Read the full media release here
Download a copy of the report here



Young People not the face of the pandemic but maybe the eyes and ears

Commissioner for Children and Young People Helen Connolly has today released Reflections on COVID-19 in which in their own words, South Australian young people reflect on the impact of the coronavirus on their world and their futures. More than 300 young people contributed their reflections through conversations, focus groups and a journaling project which explored their experiences of feeling hopeless and helpless; the impact on their identity and opportunities; on their participation and motivation; relationships and connection; and what it has meant in relation to accessing services and increasing inequality. 

To download a copy of the full media release click HERE



Young people and families ask for new approach to careers education

Commissioner Connolly has today released a suite of reports examining careers education for South Australian school students. The reports are the culmination of a two-year in-depth examination into what young people need to successfully transition from school into the world of work. The major report in the series – Off to Work We Go examines what young South Australian school students (aged 12 – 18 years) recommend be done to improve their prospects of being future work-ready, while two companion reports – Spotlight on Parent/Carer Careers Advice and Spotlight on Work Experience, cover the perspectives of parents and carers, business owners and operators, and school careers educators and advisors. 

To download a copy of the full media release click HERE



esports and gaming essential to building 21st century communities that young people will want to live in will

Commissioner Connolly has chosen Youth Week to launch her latest report – Community Building in the 21st Century which examines how collaborative gaming can be deployed as a youth engagement strategy to build the kind of communities young people want. Supporting grassroots development of collaborative gaming and esports clubs in local community settings requires a fundamental shift in our thinking around the potential the new sport offers. What is required is an understanding that gaming and esports is a healthy, fun activity that builds resilience, communication, teamwork and self-discipline. It can also provide pathways to positive outcomes for individuals and communities in the same way traditional sports clubs do. Also like community sporting clubs, at the core of collaborative gaming is community spirit, having fun, improving skill development and achieving recognition. Esports and gaming also offers future employment opportunities, not just for professional players, but for game developers, sound engineers, broadcasters, commentators, referees and competition organisers and promoters, to name a few of the roles this burgeoning industry is creating.

To download a copy of the full media release click HERE



Commissioner launches new space for SA’s young people –

Young people living in South Australia have a new place to visit. It’s called hub and it’s been created by the Commissioner for Children and Young People to enable her to continue a critical dialogue with South Australia’s young people around the things that matter to them most. hub is a place for young people to ‘visit, hang out, keep up to date, have a say, and connect’ with other young South Australians. It’s also a place that invites them to join the conversation – to contribute their ideas, get creative and to help make South Australia a great place for young people to live. If you have young South Australians in your life who you think might be interested in being a youth rep for their corner of South Australia, you should definitely tell them to visit hub today!

To download a copy of the full media release click HERE



The voice of experience – the young people asking for change in SA’s Youth Justice system

Young people aged 14 – 21 years, all with a lived experience of South Australia’s youth justice system, have recommended eight key changes to significantly improve the system from their point of view. The recommendations form part of Making Change in Youth Justice – A User’s Guide to building a better South Australian youth justice system, launched today by South Australia’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly. They include addressing cell hygiene, reducing court waiting times, supplying easy to understand information about the people and procedures young people will face, and arrangement of the courtroom to be less intimidating. They say implementing these changes would go a long way to achieving better outcomes for young people in the State’s Youth Justice system. 

To download a copy of the full media release click HERE



Stay focused on regional young people while the future is being re-imagined

The Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly, says that young people in Regional South Australia are looking for opportunities to participate in building the sustainable future of their local communities. Given the coronavirus and the recovery projects linked to the devastating bushfires, now is an ideal time to incorporate young people into the discussions; to hear their ideas and to act upon them. Recommendations made by regional young people on ways this could be achieved are contained in the Commissioner’s latest report – Regenerating Our Regions – increasing the participation of young people in South Australia. 

To download a copy of the Full Media Release click HERE


Children’s Laureate meets Children’s Commissioner in a celebration of SA children’s creativity

Australian Children’s Laureate, Ursula Dubosarsky arrives in Adelaide today at the invitation of South Australia’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly. The author of over 60 books for children and young adults, Ms Dubsarsky will guide 100 South Australian children aged 8 – 12 years through the process of writing and illustrating their own story. The event which aims to celebrate children’s creativity during Writers’ Week will take place at the State Library’s Mortlock Room. 

To download a copy of the Full Media Release click HERE


Commissioner welcomes Professor Colleen McLaughlin to Adelaide

Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly is pleased to welcome education expert and author, Professor Colleen McLaughlin PhD. Commissioner Connolly invited Professor McLaughlin to Adelaide, after hearing firsthand from many children and young people throughout regional and metropolitan South Australia that they are concerned about the impact school exclusion is having on individual students and their families. The children asked the Commissioner to support them to ‘help everyone get an education’.

To download a copy of the Full Media Release click HERE


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