Today, Bravehearts, Australia’s leaders in child protection for 22-years, has welcomed Telstra’s participation in White Balloon Day as part of National Child Protection Week to help break the silence surrounding child sexual assault.
Bravehearts’ White Balloon Day is Australia’s only national awareness and fundraising campaign dedicated to breaking the silence and preventing child sexual assault through generating awareness to help educate children, parents and adults of the need to do more to protect kids from a crime that affects more than 58,000 children in all corners of Australia, every year.
Duncan Armstrong, Community Engagement Manager for Telstra said, “Stores and business offices right across QLD will be dressing in white, hanging balloons and flags, engaging our customers and raising funds for this very worthy cause on White Balloon Day.
“Telstra and our teams want to make a difference to kids and families affected by child sexual assault and are proud to do our part on White Balloon Day with 85 stores, business offices and field depots across QLD all excited to take part in the fun of this special day,” he said.
Hetty Johnston AM, Founder and Executive Chair of Bravehearts said, “Telstra have long supported the work of Bravehearts during White Balloon Day to help us break the silence of a crime that affects 1 in 5 children nationally.
“We’re delighted that Telstra has once again joined forces with Bravehearts to help us break the silence across QLD with so many stores and offices state-wide participating in White Balloon Day and helping to raise essential funds for Bravehearts.
“We’re urging everyone to pop into their local Telstra store to personally thank them on behalf of the children in their community and make a donation to help Bravehearts continue our vital work in child protection,” Ms Johnston said.
“In Australia, a child is substantiated as having been sexually assaulted every 90 minutes – that’s 1 in 5 children who are sexually harmed in some way before their 18th Birthday – a statistic that is totally unacceptable in Australian society.
“Child protection is everybody’s business and every adult, business and organisation can each play an important role in child protection by supporting Bravehearts to help us create safer communities for all Australian children,” Ms Johnston said.
“Every Australian child has the right to feel safe and we’re indebted to everyone at Telstra for taking an active role in promoting Bravehearts and fundraising to help us continue to protect Australian children throughout Australia,” she said.
Bob Atkinson AO APM, Former Commissioner for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse said, “As a long term supporter of Bravehearts, the community’s support for White Balloon Day is vital! An individuals’ safety underpins their entire quality of life and is a right not an option.
“While there is still much to do in that regard, Bravehearts are at the forefront of child protection and this assistance enables them to continue their important and valuable work,” the Former Commissioner said.
Bravehearts’ White Balloon Day campaign, funded by the Department of Social Services – National Initiatives, is Australia’s longest running annual national awareness campaign for the prevention of child sexual assault.