BAY Residents celebrated the 20th Anniversary of White Balloon Day by taking part in Australia’s Biggest Child Protection Challenge.
White Balloon Day is Bravehearts’ key awareness campaign supported by communities across Australia to help educate, empower and protect Aussie kids from child sexual assault.
Bravehearts is established with a vision to prevent child sexual assault in our society.
59,000 children each year are sexually assaulted in Australia. 1 child every 2 hours in our country.
The official White Balloon Day is 9 September. The Port Stephens community took action on 10 -11 September.
The events in the bay were initiated and organized by The Change Maker Tribe – a new organization purposely working towards a brighter world for all funding national and global projects.
Founder Tara Scott said, “These events were about raising awareness.”
Tara said, “1 in 5 children in Australia are sexually assaulted by their 18th Birthday. I whole-heartedly believe in Bravehearts vision and mission.”
“We need to stand together to protect our children, I believe we live in a country that has the resources to change this if we speak up and break the silence together.”
Fingal Bay Park Run had over 50 participants who walked or ran in the rain wearing white holding white balloons on Saturday 10 September.
On Sunday 11 September, families gathered at the bottom of Mt Tomaree, collected their balloons and walked together to the top of our iconic mountain.
Ms Scott said, “It was inspirational to see parents and children walk empowered with the intention of protecting all children from sexual assault.”
Salamander Bay resident and mother of two Harriet Baily-Hewitt when asked why she decided to take part said, “Sadly no body is aware how often this happens.”
“I took part because so many of us are closer than we think to the issue, if not directly affected by it. I took part because everyone needs to be more aware and protect those who are too young and vulnerable to understand what is happening.”
If you are a young person being sexually assaulted, or if you know of a young person who you believe is being sexually assaulted, then please contact Police or the Child Protection Authorities on 133 627 or call Bravehearts confidential support line on 1800 272 831.