Statement from the Board of Directors

The Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BDAC) affirms our commitment to the community of creating and maintaining a child safe organisation. We have a zero tolerance of child abuse and take our duty of care seriously in acting in the best interests of the child.
Child abuse is an act or set of acts that results in harm to a child or creates risk of harm. This includes sexual, physical, emotional and neglect.

BDAC recognises that:

• All children have the right to be children and live free of abuse and neglect, so they can grow, learn, and develop.
• Children are inherently more vulnerable to abuse due to their age, stage of development and not knowing they are being manipulated.
• “Child abuse thrives on secrecy and a key strategy for organisations in preventing risk to children is to cultivate a culture of awareness, transparency and communication”1.
• Protecting children is a community-wide responsibility.
• We have responsibility to Aboriginal cultural safety; cultural safety of those from another culture and children with a disability.
• We have responsibility to foster an environment in which children are listened to, their views valued, and their concerns acted upon.
At BDAC we will:
• Actively encourage children to have a say about things that are important to them.
• Proactively assess and manage the risk of abuse to children who come into contact with our service.
• Listen to and act decisively on any child safety concerns or allegations of abuse that are made.
• Take steps to identify, investigate, and respond to any disclosures or allegations of harm against a child by someone connected to BDAC.

Raise any safety concerns or your feedback with:
• Your Worker
• Your Worker’s Supervisor or Manager
• Director of Families, Healing and Response
• Director of Child Safety and Cultural Support
• Director of Community Health and Wellbeing
• Director of Kindergarten Services
• Executive Director of Program Delivery
• Strategic Human Resources Manager
• Any staff member you feel comfortable with

If you believe a child or young person is at immediate risk of harm or abuse phone 000

1 A Guide for Creating a Child Safe Organisation, Commission for Children and Young People