Chil­dren want safe places

Con­fer­ence shows graf­fiti not wel­come and cleaner out­door play spa­ces a pri­or­ity

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Marissa Ge­or­gopou­los

CHIL­DREN in the Mt Druitt area want to live in a cleaner and safer com­mu­nity.

This was the mes­sage made clear when about 200 stu­dents from 10 schools came to­gether at Rooty Hill RSL last Wed­nes­day for the Mt Druitt Child Friendly Com­mu­nity Con­fer­ence.

Black­town Coun­cil child­friendly com­mu­nity fa­cilita- tor Jesica Varela said the themed event – My Voice, My Place, My Story – was or­gan­ised to en­sure chil­dren knew of their im­por­tance in the com­mu­nity, and were given a stronger voice.

“We ran work­shops that al­lowed chil­dren to ex­press them­selves through var­i­ous modal­i­ties,” Ms Varela said.

“There was mu­sic, visual arts, med­i­ta­tion and more – it was in­spir­ing and up­lift- ing. We were able to re­ally be in­formed of chil­dren’s pers- pec­tives on what com­mu­nity meant to them and what they re­ally cared about. They want to see a clean Mt Druitt, they don’t want to see tag­ging and graf­fiti in parks.

“Chil­dren want parks they can play in.”

The Kinder­garten to Year 6 stu­dents, from schools in­clud­ing Bid­will Pub­lic, Tregear Pub­lic and St Bishoy Cop­tic Or­tho­dox Col­lege, also said they needed safer places in the com­mu­nity and were sad to see so many home­less peo­ple on the streets.

Mar­tial arts cham­pion Andy Trieu was MC of the event and there was a per­for­mance by Rap 4 Change.

Ms Varela said the coun­cil would col­lect the data and share it with lo­cal ser­vices by Fe­bru­ary. “Fol­low­ing this, coun­cil will work on a child-friendly com­mu­nity strat­egy for the (2770 post­code) area,” he said.

They don’t want to see tag­ging and graf­fiti in parks. Chil­dren want parks they can play in - Jesica Varela

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