“National Children’s Week is a rare opportunity to put the spotlight on children in Australia. It is important that we make the unique needs of children a priority,” says Anne.
National Children’s Week starts on Saturday 23 October and runs until 31 October. The 2021 theme is recognising children have the right to choose their own friends and safely connect with others.
National Children’s Week is celebrated in Australia every year. Over the course of the week, events and activities are organised across the country.
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment is a proud supporter of National Children’s Week.
“It’s terrific the Department of Education, Skills and Employment is sponsoring National Children’s Week. It’s an opportunity for individuals and organisations across Australia to come together to focus on the importance of childhood and the wellbeing of children and their families,” says Anne.
The challenges of the last two years highlight the important role education has on children being able to connect with each other and make friends.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that school is about much more than just academic learning,” says Anne.
“Due to COVID lockdowns, children have missed out on spending time with their friends, especially at school.
“Social and emotional development happens in the learning environment. We know that this social connectedness and learning through play and friendships is critical for their development and wellbeing.
“Research is showing serious negative effects on the mental health of very young children, which may continue in the longer term.
“Children who have struggled through the lockdowns may need extra support as they return to school and in the months to follow.”
National Children’s Week complements Anne’s work as the National Children’s Commissioner.
“It’s my job as National Children’s Commissioner to ensure that our policy, laws, and service systems in this country are supporting the wellbeing and rights of children and young people,” says Anne.
Anne’s role sits within the Australian Human Rights Commission and aims to promote the rights and wellbeing of Australian children, and to ensure their voices are heard.