A shared commitment to the safety of children was evident when the National Children’s Commissioner Anne Hollonds visited the ACCCE this week.
Commissioner Hollonds’ role focuses on promoting discussion and awareness of the enjoyment and exercise of human rights by children in Australia, and making recommendations for improvements. She examines existing and proposed Commonwealth enactments to ascertain if they recognise and protect the human rights of children in Australia with particular attention to children at risk.
Following the launch of National Child Protection Week at Government House, Commissioner Hollonds expressed a keen interest to visit the ACCCE, and was able to do so while in Brisbane as a Special Advisor on the National Strategy Advisory Group for the National Office for Child Safety.
Acting ACCCE and Human Exploitation Commander Jayne Crossling welcomed Commissioner Hollonds and outlined the role of the ACCCE in the child protection space, the scale of reporting into the ACCCE, and our specialist teams including the Triage unit, Victim Identification and Covert Online.
“Other countries are now looking to replicate the unique model of the ACCCE, including the European Parliament,” Acting Commander Crossling said.
Also discussed were the challenges we face in combating online child sexual exploitation and human trafficking, and what research is being undertaken into offender behaviour and legislative reform.
Prevention was discussed, with Commissioner Hollonds expressing the need for more support services for children and young people that are either victims of abuse, or showing signs of disturbing sexualised behaviour.
“We’re not doing enough, early enough. This leads to a continued generational cycle of abuse,” Commissioner Hollonds said.
Acting Commander Crossling spoke of the prevention programs run by the AFP and ACCCE including ThinkUKnow and Stop the Stigma, and the multi-award winning ACCCE podcast, Closing The Net.
Commissioner Hollonds was then invited to sign the new ACCCE vision board, committing to a world where children are free from exploitation.
Commissioner Hollonds currently contributes to several advisory boards and councils, including the Family Law Council, the National Plan Advisory Group, the National Child Maltreatment Study, and the NSW Domestic and Family Violence and Sexual Assault Council. She has extensive experience working with children from all backgrounds, and has undertaken significant work with vulnerable children. She has practical expertise in child protection, foster and kinship care, juvenile justice, children’s services, childcare, disabilities, and early intervention and prevention services.