Official Bravehearts CEO Media Statement Regarding Operation Tenterfield
“As a child protection organisation, Bravehearts’ thoughts are with the 91 innocent children, and their families, who police allege suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of a former childcare worker. At Bravehearts, we stand united in our commitment to protect children from sexual harm and work tirelessly to prevent such atrocities from happening in the future.
“These shocking allegations highlight the urgent need for all child-facing organisations to provide stronger safeguards, of which background checks are only one important component. This requires a holistic focus, which includes all child-facing organisations to implement the 10 National Principles for Child Safe Organisations – recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Child protection requires a whole of community response. Only when child-facing organisations create child-focused policies and procedures, adults undergo regular specialist training to recognise, react protectively and report harm, children receive personal safety education and parents and carers are equipped to have open, honest and informed conversations with their children about personal safety, can we provide a truly child-safe environment.
“There is still so much secrecy, shame and silence surrounding child sexual abuse. We, as a community need to break the silence on child sexual abuse and ensure that the stigma is not directed to, or felt by the victim. The education of children will help to increase resilience, decreasing vulnerability to harm and education of the community will arm us all with the knowledge on how to effectively protect children we come into contact with however that may be. We need to normalise the discussion on child sexual abuse.
“What we would love to see is every employer, educator, sporting club, parent or carer, organisation, business, neighbour, all becoming educated and informed across all spectrums, working collectively to prevent the crime of child sexual abuse affecting 1 in 4 Australian children. This crime is preventable if we all work together, and Bravehearts has the resources and tools to help you begin the journey.”
– Bravehearts CEO, Alison Geale