Opening of new
Child Advocacy Centre
Opening of New Child Advocacy Centre
by The Right Reverend Jeremy James tssf
The Anglican Diocese of Perth were privileged to be part of the official opening of the Stan and Jean Perron Child Advocacy Centre, which took place on Monday 21 October at 1 Watertank Way, Midland.
Parkerville Children and Youth Care’s first Child Advocacy Centre, the George Jones Centre, was opened in Armadale in March 2011, and since then some 20,000 children, young people and families have accessed services at the Centre.
In 2017 Parkerville Children and Youth Care purchased land at the historical Midland Railway Workshops with the plan to build a larger Centre that would be shared with other agencies.
The Centre will co-locate child abuse professionals from different Government and not-for-profit organisations and provide child-focused, integrated, and coordinated community services to families and children which are visible and accessible.
We were welcomed to country by Elder, Nick Abraham. Invited guests included:
- Mrs Jean Perron, the widow of Stan, and their daughter Elizabeth Perron, Director Perron Group and Chair Stan Perron Charitable Foundation
- Ms Susan Hunt, Chief Executive Officer, Lotterywest
- Mr George Jones AM, Patron of Parkerville Children and Youth Care
- The Most Reverend Kay Goldsworthy AO, Archbishop of Perth
- Mr Sam Walsh AO, Chair of the Perth Diocesan Trustees, and Mrs Leanne Walsh
- The Hon Simone McGurk MLA, Minister for Community Services, Children's Interests and Women's Interests
- The Hon Michelle Roberts MLA, Minister for Police
- The Hon Donna Faragher MLA, Shadow Minister for Education and Training; Women's Interests
- Mr Chris Dawson, Commissioner of Western Australian Police
- Representatives of the builders, Pindan
- Ms Kim Brooklyn, incoming Chief Executive Officer
- Mr Alan Carter, and Mr Jim Morrison, Yokai
Mr Chris Newlin, the Executive Director of the Huntsville Child Advocacy Centre, Alabama, USA, was a special guest. He spoke of the original vision of the Huntsville Advocacy Centre, founded in 1986, wanting to give to a single place where a child or young person could tell their story once, and not be re-traumatised by having to tell it again and again and move to different locations. There are now 1,000 Advocacy Centres in the United States.
CEO Mr Basil Hanna celebrated the opening of the Centre and thanked the generosity of benefactors, especially the Perron Foundation and Lotterywest, as well as many room donors and those who had ‘bought a brick’.
The Chairman of the Board, The Hon Wayne Martin AC QC, spoke of the continued growth devastating effect of child abuse, with 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys being abused before the age of 18. On a positive note, he was delighted that the Centre was being shared with WA Police, Department for Child Protection and Family support, Ngala and Raphael, Wanslea Family Services and Yokai.
Archbishop Kay gave a blessing, asking that the staff be blessed in their difficult work as they sit and listen to parents as they seek support, and to the children and young people that they may find healing and hope for the future.
The ribbon was cut by Chairman of the Board, The Hon Wayne Martin AC QC; with assistance from Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy and Chief Executive, Basil Hanna.
Guests, including parishioners of the Church of the Ascension, Midland, enjoyed refreshments and a guided tour.