Each year GPV/KCV conducts at least one campaign. Most campaigns undertaken span a number of years so in any given year there is always more than one campaign underway. In the 2016–17 FY five campaigns were managed: four carried over from the previous year and one, the Home Stretch campaign, was commenced in this financial year. Two campaigns were internationally based and conducted with other agencies, while three were state based.
Formation of a WEO
The campaign to have the United Nations establish a World Environment Organisation (WEO) stalled in the later part of this financial year due to a loss of momentum from within the US, where the campaign originated. The election of a president who has no commitment to environment protection and has scaled back all US efforts to protect the environment has given rise to a different set of priorities within the US.
Article 31 – A child’s right to play
The campaign to promote Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to play is a long-term campaign being conducted in partnership with number of play organisations, including the International Play Association (IPA), of which GPV/KCV is a member.
GPV/KCV’s submission in relation to the review of the amendments to the Children, Youth and Families Act (CYFA) in March this year was lodged with over 50 other organisations also lodging submissions—36 of these have been made public.
In August, the GPV/KCV Board decided to write to all federal members of parliament to outline concerns with the approach to adoption being taken in NSW. Of particular concern was the move to advertise children for adoption on a website. The GPV/KCV Board held firm to its view that it is not appropriate to fast track adoption and that all options for keeping children within their biological family must be exhausted before they are placed outside the family. GPV/KCV also lodged a submission to the Law Reform Commission’s review of adoption legislation in Victoria.
Home Stretch campaign
This campaign, commenced by Anglicare, is designed to have governments extend the leaving age for out of home care extended from 18 years to 21 years. Kinship carers have long complained that the mental and emotional health of the young people in their care is such that it is not reasonable to expect them to leave the out-of-home-care system at age 18.
Within a year, many young people who leave out of home care at age 18 will end up homeless and living on the streets. Many others continue to live with their kinship carers for years to come because they cannot cope with the outside world. The financial burdens are enormous.
It is expected that the campaigns listed below will be fought for some time into the future. Despite widespread action to secure improvements in government policy related to these issues little progress has been made and families continue to be disadvantaged by inequitable or inefficient policy and practice in these areas.
GPV will continue to call for:
- 2002 – Better access to a full education for all children and young people (Campaign #1)
- 2003 – Provision of more accessible and affordable childcare (Campaign #2)
- 2003 – Recognition of the disadvantages to grandchildren denied access to grandparents (Campaign #3)
- 2004 – Governments to be more responsible in the governance of gambling (Campaign #5)
- 2012 – Early intervention in mental health of children and young people (Campaign #13)
- 2013 – Better promotion of the value of child-centred outdoor play (Campaign #18)
- 2014 – Immediate withdrawal of children from Australian refugee camps (Campaign #19)
In the past GPV has run statewide, nationwide and international campaigns to improve:
- Childcare provision
- Mental health services for children suffering trauma
- More localised models of delivering services to families
- Support for grandparents raising their grandchildren fulltime
- Better education programs for children at risk
- Improved attitudes towards the importance of play
- Recognition in the workplace for the role of grandparents