As Australia marks National Child Protection Week, a prominent child safety organisation is running its annual campaign to educate hundreds of thousands of children about personal safety.
The Daniel Morcombe Foundation is running Australia’s Biggest Child Safety Lesson (ABCSL), a free livestream event involving video resources for children aged between four and 12 years. The growth of the program, now in its fifth year, has led to the development of two lessons: one for early childhood and lower primary school children (aged four to seven years) and the other for upper primary school students (aged eight to 12 years). Last year, 471,000 children viewed the lesson.
ABCSL 2021 will go live on Tuesday September 7, at 9:00 am for the Early Years and Junior Primary Lesson and at 10:00 am for the Upper Primary Lesson. Schools, parents, and carers can register to take part at the Daniel Morcombe Foundation website for access to teaching plans, resources, guides, and support material.
“We would like to see educators as well as parents and carers, and anyone with children in their lives, supporting Australia’s Biggest Child Safety Lesson and sharing that with the kids that they value,” says Georgia Grayson, Education Officer at the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.
Georgia says the focus of ABCSL 2021 is help-seeking.
“We sat down with focus groups of Year 5 students, and one of the big things that stood out to us, was that a lot of kids felt like they had to handle everything on their own. One of our biggest messages in this sector is that child safety is everyone’s responsibility, and so we wanted to really heroise getting help when we need it,” she says.
“Our early years resource is a fantastic animation, which uses the story of Little Red Riding Hood to talk about safety helpers and how to respond when someone we trust, that we love is not behaving in a safe way.
“Our upper primary resource uses a news bulletin style, which is really positive and empowering, and looks at help-seeking in different situations and the ways that we can support our friends when they need a bit of help.”
For those who fall outside the age range of ABCSL, Georgia recommends resources on the Daniel Morcombe Foundation website, which focus on things to look out for in the community to prevent child abuse, and debunk myths about reporting concerns.
The Daniel Morcombe Foundation was established after the tragic disappearance and death of Sunshine Coast teenager Daniel Morcombe in 2003.
Listen to the full interview with Georgia Grayson in the audio player above.