Community stands up for children

Local students will create chalk art in Dean Street and QEII Square to make a statement of support for victims of child abuse as part of White Balloon Day activities tomorrow.

The artworks – which will include a mural in the square – will feature a white balloon and carry the hashtag #ChalkItUp, reflecting similar works to be created by young people across Australia.

Police, health service officials, charities and children’s champions will attend Friday’s event at QEII Square.

Activities run from 10am to 3pm, with a sausage sizzle and live entertainment to precede the release of white doves at 12.20 pm. All proceeds will go to Bravehearts.

White Balloon Day is a national event in which the community speaks out against the abuse of children.

AlburyCity Mayor Kevin Mack said the protection of children was the responsibility of everyone, from family to friends, teachers to police officers and even strangers.

“It’s up to us all to stand united in support of kids so that every child feels safe at all times so I urge everyone to not only join this symbolic statement but to also speak out against harm to children wherever it occurs,” he said.

“These crimes should never be swept under the carpet but as a community acting together we can make a powerful statement on behalf of children everywhere.”

According to the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2017 more than 1.4 million Australians were sexually assaulted before the age of 15, with more than 58% being assaulted for the first time before the age of 10.

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