All children and young people in South Australia should feel safe and nurtured.

 Child Focused Safety:

  • Maintaining a focus on addressing bullying by teaching children and young people other ways to work out their differences.
  • Increasing focus on children and young people in areas of crime reduction and prevention   
  • Making it illegal for adults to smack children or young people. 
  • Focus on reducing discrimination and improve outcomes for all children and young people. 




The Commissioner’s big issues in relation to safety


The Commissioner has heard a lot from South Australian children and young people who are worried about getting bullied, or about their friends or family being bullied. This may be happening to them at school, at work, or when they’re out playing sport. They say that some of the bullying is about whether they identify as a boy or a girl, or as gender-neutral. Sometimes it’s because they’re gay, or because they’re a particular race, or speak a different language. Sometimes bullying occurs because the person is small or looks a bit different from other people. No differences justify bullying, nor does being the same. The Commissioner is working with teachers, parents and decision makers to try to help children not to bully each other and to instead work out their differences in safe, respectful ways in person and online

For more information see: the Bullying Project report (2018)

Youth Justice

Children as young as 10 years of age can be put in prison in South Australia. Although this is rare, the Commissioner does not think this is right, and is asking Ministers to change the law to raise the age at which young people can be sent to prison to 14 years. This is the age that other countries around the world have agreed upon and Australia needs to get in step with these countries.

For more information see: Making the Change in Youth Justice (2020)


Children and young people have the right to be treated fairly and equally no matter who they are. The Commissioner is working to reduce discrimination and improve outcomes for all children and young people in South Australia, including those who are living with disability, young people who identify as LGBTQI+, and people from different cultures and religions.

For more information see: From Checkbox to Commitment (2022)


Care and Protection

The Commissioner would like smacking to be made illegal in South Australia so that teachers and parents are not allowed to hit children ever. A lot of children in South Australia do not live with their parents but live with carers or foster parents. It is important that these children have a voice in decisions about where they are looked after, or whether they are placed in a family with their brothers and sisters.

For more information see: Best Interests (2023)

Children of Prisoners

Many children and young people will have a parent who goes to prison at some point in their childhood. This can be a very scary experience – their whole life could change without them having any control over it, and they may feel like they have no-one to ask for help. They may feel like they are being blamed for what their parent has done.

The Commissioner wants to make sure that these children get the help and support they need when they need it.

For more information see: Join the Dots (2022)