Child and Young Person Safety

Western Edge’s Commitment to Promoting the Safety and Wellbeing of Children and Young People

Western Edge is committed to creating a culturally safe environment for children and young people. The organisation’s purpose is the empowerment of young people from diverse communities in Melbourne’s west to tell their own stories, in their own way, and with their own voice. By providing safer spaces to explore creativity, learn new artistic practices, and develop leadership skills, Western edge constructs supportive pathways for young people to achieve their own creative agency.

We prioritise First Peoples children’s knowledge, perspectives, protocols and employment across all levels of our artistic, management and governance teams. We recognise the vital role First Peoples play in the creative landscape and are committed to amplifying First Peoples voices, visions and leadership.

All children and young people who come to Western Edge have a right to feel and be safe. The wellbeing of the children and young people in our care will always be our first priority and we have a zero-tolerance approach to child and young person abuse. Children, young people and vulnerable people need to know and believe that they always have the right to be safe and feel safe.

Western Edge is committed to the principles of cultural safety and inclusion of children from diverse backgrounds and to the safety and inclusion of children with disability, and we recognise that these principles support the safety of all children.

Our organisational purpose is;

To meet young artists on their own terms to tell their stories in their own way and with their own voice.

To provide a safer space for young people to explore creativity, learn new artistic practices, gain on-the-job employment, and develop leadership skills.

To deliver long-term investment in young people’s trajectories towards sustainable professional careers and claiming their own creative agency.

To reflect the diversity of contemporary Australia as a visible counterpoint to mainstream representation.

In doing so, to shift the balance of power and transform the world into one that is truly inclusive.

To create and maintain a child safe organisation, Western Edge Youth Arts must comply with the 11 new Child Safe Standards effective 1 July 2022.

1. Organisations establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are respected and valued

2. Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture

3. Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously

4. Families and communities are informed, and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing

5. Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice

6. People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice

7. Processes for complaints and concerns are child focused

8. Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training

9. Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.

10. Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved

11. Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people

Child Safe Persons 

Western Edge has two Child Safety Persons who have specific responsibility for responding to complaints made by board, staff, volunteers, parents or children.   

Penny Harpham, Executive Director

PENNY HARPHAM
Executive Director

IRENA BARIC
Deputy Chair

Additional Child and Young Person Safety Resources 

Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner 

Investigates complaints about cyber-bullying against children 

Ph: 1800 880 176

 

Kids Helpline 

A free and confidential counselling service for young people age 5-25 

Ph: 1800 551 800

 

Lifeline 

Crisis support and suicide prevention service 

Ph: 13 11 14

 

Safe and Supportive School Communities 

Bullying. No Way! – Take a stand together has useful information and interactive activities for students, teachers and parents: www.takeastandtogether.gov.au

 

Cybersmart 

Cybersmart is a national cybersafety and cybersecurity education program managed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority: www.cybersmart.gov.au
 

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development 

Bully Stoppers supports students, parents, teachers and principals to reduce the incidence of bullying: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/bullystoppers/Pages/default.aspx
 

Bullying online or at school: http://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/find-legalanswers/discrimination-harassment-and-bullying/bullying-online-or-school
 

Victoria Legal Aid 

Free legal help over the phone, Monday to Friday, 8.45 am to 5.15 pm. 

Tel: 1300 792 387 

Website: www.legalaid.vic.gov.au

 

Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) 

You can contact a CASA 24 hours a day, seven days a week for crisis counselling, support, information and advocacy. Your call will be directed to the CASA in your region. 

Tel: 1800 806 292 

Website: www.casa.org.au

Westjustice Community Legal Centre 

Free legal advice and representation 

Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm 

9749 7720

 

Bravehearts  

A free and confidential counselling and support referral service for children and young people who have experienced abuse; and for adults who are concerned a child or young person is at risk of harm. 

Monday – Friday  8:30am – 4:30pm  

1800 272 831 

TTY users phone 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 272 831. 

Speak and Listen users phone 1800 555 727 then ask for 1800 272 831. 

Internet relay users connect to the NRS via internet-relay.nrscall.gov.au then ask for 1800 272 831.

 

West Division Intake – metropolitan only – 1300 664 977 

West Division Metro area reports are managed by North Division Intake located at DHHS Preston for the following areas and LGAs: Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Melton, Moonee Valley, Wyndham. 

International callers can ring West Division Intake on 61352264540

 

After-hours Child Protection Emergency Service – 13 12 78 

If you have significant concern for the wellbeing of a child, but do not believe they are at risk of significant harm, and where the immediate safety of the child will not compromised, a referral to Child FIRST or The Orange Door may be appropriate. 

 

Brimbank 1300 138 180 

Melton 1300 138 180 

Wyndham 1300 775 160 

Moonee Valley 1300 775 160 

Maribyrnong 1300 775 160