Nationals Candidate for Hammond Rachel Titley is delighted to announce she will host a ‘women only’ International Women’s Day High Tea and Dinner with Special Guest Speaker Hetty Johnson from Bravehearts on Saturday 8th March 2014 at Unity College Murray Bridge.
Well-known media personality and 2013 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Northern Region) Hetty Johnson has travelled the country and the world raising awareness about child sexual assault. “Bravehearts is a National Organisation fighting hard to stop child sexual assault and make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child,” Rachel Titley stated.
“The Murraylands is so incredibly blessed to score a woman of Hetty’s calibre to speak at this significant day and event. Hetty’s lobbying and speaking on both national and international platforms has seen an increased awareness both in Australia and internationally of the issues of pedophilia within media, families, schools and community” Rachel said.
Rachel Titleys work life has encompassed extensive exposure and experience in all facets of abused children and children in care; including as a South Australian Police Officer, Early Intervention Worker, Investigation and Assessment Officer and Case Manager for both government and non-government organisations. Rachel is also a registered Foster Carer.
“There is much need in this region for support for our disadvantaged children. There are currently 2,657 children in South Australia under the Guardianship of the Minister. These children reside in a variety of placements – including one in ten of these children living in ‘out of home’ care”. Rachel stated. “Mentors, Carers and others volunteers are desperately needed to support these children. But of most importance is a ‘forever family’ or ‘permanent placement’ for these children. Multiple placements and movement does so much damage to these children.” Rachel continues. “I’m ecstatic that the Prime Minister has committed to an overhaul of both national and inter-country adoptions. Recent lobbying by high profile supporters has also brought awareness to the fact that children flourish and thrive when there is permanency.”
Rachel adds, “Queensland and New South Wales have already committed to ‘open adoption’ as an option for all children under guardianship, where children cannot be returned to parents or kin. The ordinariness, permanency and stability provided in an adoptive placement is well known to be the foundation to success for life for children in care. Governments need to be doing all they can to facilitate permanency in placement for children and I’m so delighted that the Prime Minister has formed an adoption taskforce, placed adoption at the top of the COAG meeting in April and committed to a review of adoption and children in care within 12 months. It’s incredible.
“There are substantial areas of deficit with the implementation of the Child Protection Framework in South Australia. Some government departments in some regions of the state are unfortunately notorious for their lack of honour, support and consultation with carers. Carers are the ones that spend over 500 hours a month with these children, most caseworkers are lucky to spend five. Financial and other supports are not provided evenly or are given and retracted and many Foster Carers that I have spoken with feel undervalued, underpaid, uninformed and unsupported. A review of provisions for children in care and the Foster Carers that are the ‘everyday mothers and fathers’ for these children is paramount and of course will ultimately result in better outcomes for children.” Rachel states.
“According to a report released last July by the Australian Productivity Commission figures show that South Australia spent the least per child* on child protection services of all Australian states in 2011-12, about 70 per cent of the Australian average. There have already been massive review in other states and Queensland and New South Wales have committed to open adoption and Victoria is considering paying carers $53,000 per year to enable them to provide adequate care for children under guardianship. These and other measures are long overdue.” (*Source Bravehearts.org.au)
Hetty Johnson is the Founder and CEO of Bravehearts. In 2005, Hetty was announced as a finalist for the 2006 Australian of the Year Awards – she is the recipient of two Australian Lawyers Alliance Civil Justice Awards (2003,2004) and was named a finalist in the 2008 Suncorp Queenslander of the Year Awards. Since establishing Bravehearts in 1997, Hetty has:
- Chaired the Queensland Child Protection Week Committee,
- Held a position on the Board of NAPCAN (National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect),
- Held a position on the Board with ASCA (Advocates for Survivors of Child Abuse),
- Sat as Chair for the Endeavour Foundation’s ‘Abuse Prevention and Response Committee’,
- Is a participant on the Federal Government’s Working Party on a ‘National Approach to Child Protection’;
- and currently sits on the Federal Governments working party on Cyber-Safety.
A board of High Achieving Regional Women has been formed to judge the Regional Women’s awards which will also be presented at the event. Nominations are now open for ‘Deadly’, ‘Young Deadly’, ‘Senior’, ‘Young’, ‘Education Champion’, ‘Community’, ‘Sportsperson’, ‘Regional Advocate’ and ‘Empowering Disadvantaged’ categories via onegirl.onewoman facebook or gmail. Community members are encouraged to nominate individuals within these categories for these annual awards.
The ‘Murraylands International Women’s Day High Tea & Dinner’ commences at 2pm on Saturday 8th March 2014 in ‘The Stadium’, Owl Drive, Unity College Murray Bridge.
For further comment please contact
SA Nationals candidate for Hammond
Phone: 0400 075 484