My Voice – hearing, listening and believing children

Canberra and Goulburn’s Catholic Education has teamed together with the Archdiocese’s Youth Ministry and Archbishop Christopher Prowse to launched the My Voice project across our school and parish communities.

My Voice provides the opportunity for children from grades four to seven to have a say in their Church as they journey to belong, believe, and become. This new initiative invites the children to articulate what they understand their rights and responsibilities to be within their Church.

Giving our children a voice is not only the right thing to do, it also indicative of this Archdiocese’s commitment to implementing the child safe standards. Child safe standard recognises the importance of children being taken seriously, and their opinions listened to. Evidence shows that children are safer when organisations teach them about their rights to be heard, listened to, and believed.

The number of responses to the My Voice survey to date has been overwhelming. The Youth team is currently compiling the results, which will focus on a discussion between youth and the Archbishop during Child Protection week 2020.

Archbishop Christopher stated that this was probably one of the most critical projects for him in 2020. He was looking forward to meeting (even if only virtually) with the youth and implementing their ideas.

Maria Hicks, IPSS Manager for the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, highlighted the importance of this exercise in building trust.

“If children believe that their opinions matter, are valued and that they will be listened to, they will develop the confidence to use their Voice. That is an excellent outcome for our Church, for now, and into the future,” she said.

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