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As a lead up to Child Protection Week, we sought the voices of our children to reflect on what would be important if they could design a neighbourhood where everyone had what they needed and felt safe.

We asked the children to think about who would live there? What services they might need? what fun things would they like? What would help or be useful to people who lived there?

We did this over two days. To begin with children suggested McDonalds, parks, pizza shops & restaurants but as we continued to explore ideas were pleasantly surprised at the sense of social justice within the group. Maia suggested we create a place would have food for the homeless, Bonnie suggested a charity store so people that needed to, could buy cheap clothing. Buses were suggested by Harrison in case people didn’t have cars & Will suggested ramp access to the library for people in wheelchairs. A Vet and dog park were suggested as well as parks, rivers, waterfalls and trees and flowers.

Extending on our discussions around what our neighbourhood should look like, the children were given a piece of recycled paper to draw a picture of their neighbourhood idea. They spent time carefully creating their pictures that we could bring together into one large poster. Again, it was heartening to see the natural way that the children are inclusive. Will has started a beautiful picture that includes people in wheelchairs, families from other backgrounds including Muslims, Mexicans, soldiers, children, families with the focus picture in the centre depicting two hands one brown & one white coming together symbolising unity and inclusion. When Lincoln drew the Airport, he added an Aboriginal flag, while Alysha added two Aboriginal Flags at the front of the City Hall building. Educators loved that this was not prompted, yet reflects that respect for indigenous cultures is embedded and valued within our service.

The children are very pleased with & proud of the Neighbourhood they have created. We have submitted this into the NAPCAN Child Protection Art Activity Competition.