SYDNEY, Tuesday 19 December 2017
– UNICEF Australia welcomes the creation of a new dedicated Assistant Minister for Children and Families in the Australian Government.
“This is a significant development for children, young people and families in Australia,” said UNICEF Australia CEO, Tony Stuart. “It is a well-considered initiative that will help position the interests of children squarely at the centre of the national policy agenda.”
UNICEF Australia has long advocated for Government to prioritise and improve the lives of children by elevating their rights and wellbeing in government policy, decision-making and budgeting.
Mr Stuart said UNICEF Australia looked forward to working with the Assistant Minister to prioritise children and young people across all the work of government. He said that children need to be consulted and considered in decision making across every stage of their life cycle.
“UNICEF Australia is eager to engage with the Assistant Minister on three pressing areas of government policy for children and young people,” Mr Stuart said. ”The government must Implement the important findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse; develop a National Action Plan for Children so that children have a fair chance at education, healthy development and positive life chances; and ensure the 2018 federal budget contains adequate investment in children.”
In 2018, UNICEF Australia and sector partners will have a national conversation with children and young people in relation to how they are faring. This conversation will inform Australia’s review at the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child later in the year.
“During 2018, we invite the Assistant Minister to join us in hearing directly from children - about their lives, their biggest challenges and what they need and expect from government,” Mr Stuart said.
Mr Stuart noted that the Prime Minister stated that the new Assistant Minister will work closely with the Minister for Social Services to ensure children get the best start in life and families get all the support they need. In that regard, he said UNICEF Australia emphasised the importance of ensuring the role is adequately resourced so that it has measurable impact for children.
For more information, please contact:
Brinsley Marlay, UNICEF Australia, 0403 604 182, [email protected]