Queensland Government media release

Nine individuals and organisations have had their hard work and dedication to protecting Queensland’s children and young people recognised at the 2017 Child Protection Week Awards held at Parliament House yesterday.

The awards were announced at the launch of Queensland Child Protection Week which runs from Sunday, 3 September until Saturday 9 September.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman congratulated the individuals and organisations for the tireless and outstanding work they carry out in helping to keep children and young people safe and free from abuse and neglect.

“While the ongoing theme for this year’s Child Protection Week reminds us that protecting children is everybody’s business the award winners today have gone above and beyond to make our children safe,” Ms Fentiman said.

“These annual awards give us the chance to publicly recognise the invaluable and often difficult work of people who make Queensland a safer and happier place for children and young people.”

Ms Fentiman said this year’s award winners are all very deserving of the accolades they have received.

“Dr Gerald Featherstone, the CEO of Kummara Association has led the establishment of the Family and Child Connect service in Ipswich and Joanna Gurd from Queensland Health whose work in providing ongoing support and advice on child protection matters to internal and external stakeholders has been invaluable,” she said.

“The Historical Abuse Network was recognised in two award categories – volunteer and education initiative. They have helped victims of child abuse to have their stories heard and for a Royal Commission to be undertaken.

“In the state’s north, Guy Douglas has addressed over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, children and young people in the child protection system.

“The work of the Speak Up Be Strong Be Heard project, which has enabled engagement with almost 6000 community members to raise awareness of child protection, was recognised.

“Each and every individual and organisation recognised today as well as the countless others who have not received an award are all making a difference to the wellbeing of Queensland children, particularly those who are vulnerable or at risk.”

The winners are:

  • Professional (Non-Government): Dr Gerald Featherstone from Brisbane
  • Professional (Government): Joanna Gurd from Ipswich
  • Volunteer: Historical Abuse Network
  • Regional Program: Centre Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) in Caboolture region
  • Education Initiative: Historical Abuse Network
  • Youth Participation: Speak Up Be Strong Be Heard project based in Far North Queensland
  • Media and Communications: Out of the Dark project led by the Queensland Family and Child Commission
  • Community Initiative: Cultural Connection Program
  • Addressing over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, children and young people in the child protection system: Guy Douglas from Doomadgee

Ms Fentiman said Child Protection Week was about promoting the importance of child protection, raising awareness of child protection issues, and recognising the vital role of child protection workers.

“I’d encourage as many Queenslanders as possible to get involved in the week and to take part in the wide range of activities that will be taking place across the state,” she said.

“It’s also an opportune time to think about and to discuss with others how we can all play are part in making our communities a safer place for children and young people.”

To find out more about Child Protection Week, including information about the awards and a calendar of events activities to be held throughout the week, go to

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