When children and young people in South Australia were consulted about what they wanted in a children’s Commissioner, they said they wanted someone they could trust, someone who understood them, and someone who knew what was going on. I want to fulfil their expectations and work with children and young people, their parents, family members, carers, professionals, policy makers and the broader South Australian community, to build families and communities where children and young people are safe, healthy, engaged and valued. My team and I have established a set of key goals, objectives and focus areas to achieve this, as outlined in my Front & Centre Strategic Plan (2018-2022). Below is a summary of what this strategic plan contains.
- Promote and protect the rights, interests and well-being of children and young people, and amplify their experiences, insights and opinions.
- Provide oversight and advocacy to strengthen the development and wellbeing of South Australia’s children and young people.
- Develop opportunities for South Australian children and young people to participate in decision-making and contribute to public, civic, and community life.
- Champion children and young people’s rights and work with the broader community to respect and support their inclusion in laws, policies and decision making.
- Connect with children and young people’s enthusiasm and capacity for innovation and identify and create opportunities for them to engage and influence change.
- Monitor, investigate, research, make submissions and advocate for change in laws, policies, programs and practices or issues that negatively impact children and young people.
- Advise leaders and decision-makers on how to improve the development and wellbeing of South Australia’s children and young people.
- Partner and collaborate with organisations and systems to include children and young people as stakeholders and to incorporate their perspectives and views in policy and system reforms.
KEY FOCUS AREAS
- Place the interests of children and young people front and centre in everyday life.
- Prioritise the development and wellbeing of those doing it tough.
- Engage and empower young digital citizens.
- Strengthen children and young people’s participation in society.
OUTCOMES BY WHICH WE WILL MEASURE OUR SUCCESS:
- Decision-makers actively engaging children and young people as stakeholders and considering their rights and interests in a systemic way.
- Children and young people are given more opportunities to inform key decision-makers on the effectiveness of the system in protecting and promoting their rights, interests and needs.
- Children, young people, and their families are better equipped to understand the digital world and feel empowered to access its benefits and manage its risks.
- Children and young people are given more opportunities for meaningful ways to participate and make a contribution across public, civic and community life.
Details of projects linked to each of the four key focus areas above can be found here.