The Town of Gawler is working closely with Child Friendly South Australia (CFSA) and the Child and Youth Friendly Greater Gawler Action Group (CYFGGAG) to become a more child and youth friendly town.
CFSA is based on the UNICEF internationally recognised Child Friendly Cities model and aims to bring children and communities closer together by working collectively at a local level to support improved child development outcomes. As such there are six aspirational community goals (mapped directly to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child) that CFSA is based on. The goals are:
- Active participation – children’s views are sought and actively listened to in relation to local decision making (which affects their lives) and their feedback is shown to be used constructively
- Safety – children live in safe and secure communities
- Health – children are provided with friendly integrated services protecting their health and wellbeing
- Education – supporting education opportunities for children, family and community (including early childhood education and parenting) for academic achievement and wellbeing
- Belonging – children develop a sense of belonging and wellbeing from birth onwards (home, family and community life)
- Play and leisure – children co-construct a wide range of inclusive play and leisure opportunities which support all aspects of child development (health, wellbeing, education, safety) and encourage independent mobility within the community.
Through the CYFGGAG the Town of Gawler was selected as a pilot community, along with the City of Campbelltown and City of Onkaparinga.
Adopting an authentic ‘child-friendly’ community takes commitment, effort and time. Therefore, the CFSA initiative will recognise and reward the efforts taken by communities to become child friendly by offering a UNICEF recognition program in partnership with UNICEF Australia and Save the Children Australia. Communities that achieve UNICEF recognition will receive certification and public acknowledgement during an annual awards ceremony. There are three phases to complete prior to applying for bronze recognition with UNICEF:
- Phase One: Foundation - development of an implementation guide and formal recognition framework in partnership with UNICEF Australia.
- Phase Two: Undertake Children’s Voices participation pilot (2013)
- Phase Three: 2014/15 ‘Pilot’ Phase – community ‘road testing’ of the implementation guide and framework aiming for formal UNICEF recognition (Bronze level).
Gawler has completed pilot phase one and two, and now in phase three.
As part of a research partnership between the South Australian Department for Education and Child Development and the University of South Australia (through the de Lissa Chair in Early Childhood Research, Professor Pauline Harris) a Children’s Voices: Principled Framework for Children and Young People’s Participation as Valued Citizens and Learners has been developed and can be accessed as a free resource from the following location:
As a complementary resource to the Principled Framework a documentary series has been developed and accessible at the following location:
The documentary is in five parts and explores:
- Part 1: The Participation Process - explores consultation with young children at Ocean View College Children’s Centre informing the Review of South Australia’s Strategic Plan
- Part 2: Children’s Views about their Communities - explores children’s views about their community from Ocean View College OSHC informing the Review of South Australia’s Strategic Plan
- Part 3: Children and Young People as Valued Citizens and Learners - explores the evidence base and benefits to the whole of society of children and young people’s participation in community decision making
- Part 4: Authentic Participation and Voice in Learning Settings - explores links to Australia’s Early Years Learning Framework and The Australian Curriculum in engaging children and young people’s participation as valued citizens and learners
- Part 5: Translating Children and Young People’s Views into Meaningful Action - explores the post consultation process of translating children and young people’s views into meaningful action, providing feedback and involving children and young people in the implementation of strategies aligned to the community issues they have been consulted about.
Council resolved during May 2014 to support phase three: road testing the draft tool kit and implementation guide as a method of children and youth engagement in policy and project development and in preparation to seek Child Friendly Bronze recognition from UNICEF.
If you would like to discover more about process of Gawler becoming formally recognised as Child and Youth Friendly town please contact Ebony Steadman on 08 8522 9295 or firstname.lastname@example.org