Girl Guides Australia has launched its Child Safe Child Friendly Framework as part of its ongoing commitment to provide girls and young women with an environment where they are safe, protected, and respected, and where they can discover their potential as leaders of their world. The launch of the framework, which complies with Australia’s National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, coincides with the United Nations International Day of the Girl, which focuses on protecting the rights of girls around the world. Developed in consultation with key stakeholders from across the organisation, including youth members, the framework pulls together everything that Girl Guides Australia does to provide a child-safe culture under one umbrella.
“Girls tell us that Girl Guides is a place where they love to enjoy time with their friends – exploring, adventuring, having fun – and where they feel safe,” said Girl Guides Australia Chief Commissioner Rosemary Derwin. “In Girl Guiding, the girl is the centre of all our decisions, and our framework reminds us that we must view everything we do through a child-safe, child-friendly lens.”
Ms Derwin said the framework provided clear guidance for everyone involved in Girl Guiding to understand their role in helping to keep children and young people safe, and to build on the child-safe, child-friendly community that is central to Girl Guiding in Australia. “Girl Guides Australia recognises that our long-standing, respected reputation and the valuable contribution we bring to local communities is dependent on the behaviours and attitudes of the people who make up the Girl Guiding movement in Australia, and all adults in Girl Guiding are required to be constantly aware of girls, and to act if they see, hear or simply suspect that any girl may be feeling worried or unsafe.”
The framework empowers girls, actively encourages the development of confidence and self-esteem, and supports a safe space where they are heard, Ms Derwin said. “Listening to the views and wishes of all our girls is a central platform of the framework.”