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ACYS calendar of events in the youth field

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Our journal, Youth Studies Australia, is issued quarterly in March, June, September and December.

Projects

Child abuse and neglect prevention: The Yingana project, Arnhem Land

Reviewed for Youth Field Xpress, September 2006.

The winter 2006 edition of the National Child Protection Clearinghouse Child Abuse Prevention Newsletter contains a paper by the NAPCAN Foundation's executive officer, Adam Blakester, titled Practical child abuse and neglect prevention: A community responsibility and professional partnership.

The paper highlights a number of community initiatives where responsibility is being taken for the wellbeing of children and young people to prevent child abuse and neglect.

One initiative featured is the Yingana project, operating among the Oenpelli community in Arnham Land, Northern Territory. This community was awarded a NAPCAN micro-grant in September 2003.The following summary of the project is taken directly from Blakester's paper:

Bolstered by the support and resources at the disposal of NAPCAN's Northern Territory Office, the grant funded a facilitator and a project team comprised of five community elders (who were also mature-age students at the Northern Territory's Batchelor Institute of Tertiary Education) to produce a locally based prevention tool that was culturally appropriate for Bininj people (language group of Oenpelli). The Yingana project aimed to improve child nutrition and wellbeing, and decrease the number of child removals, by enhancing traditional parenting.

This initiative was led entirely by the community. Yet, importantly, the team was able to access and use support from a range of professionals, including NAPCAN and the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education. This is only the beginning, and the team are continuing to expand on the work to create more resources for their community and to further their work preventing child abuse and neglect.

The project able demonstrates the 'small beginnings' approach of community development-type work (producing a 'butterfly effect'). It highlights the value of communities being supported (and respected) to take responsibility, rather than being forced to change. This active support enables active involvement, ownership and, ultimately, sustained capacity. (Source: 'National Child Protection Clearinghouse Newsletter', v.14, n.2, 2006, pp.2-10.)