OUR FUTURE

Bunbury's Bella Burgemeister advocates for Valuing Children Initiative

Valuing Children Initiative Development Executive Maddie McLeod, ambassador Bella Burgemeister and Initiative Founder Adj. Prof. Tony Pietropiccolo Am. Picture is supplied.
Valuing Children Initiative Development Executive Maddie McLeod, ambassador Bella Burgemeister and Initiative Founder Adj. Prof. Tony Pietropiccolo Am. Picture is supplied.

Bunbury youth mayor Bella Burgemeister is part of a national campaign to ensure every Australian child is valued, prioritised and heard in parliament.

The Valuing Children Initiative was established in 2016 to inspire Australians to value all children, promote understanding that children's wellbeing is the shared responsibility of the entire community, and ensure children are at the forefront of our considerations.

Miss Burgemeister said the one of the initiative members approached her a few years ago to be an ambassador.

"It's been incredible to be a part of," she said.

Before covid restrictions, the initiative were able to partner up with cricket team Perth Heat in trying to raise awareness of their campaign.

"It was great to have organisations like that supporting us, especially sporting clubs showing they value children," she said.

Initiative founder adjunct professor Tony Pietropiccolo AM said children's interests were broader than child protection and education.

"Around 774,000 children live in poverty in Australia and we know that growing up in poverty negatively impacts kids," he said.

"This is just one of the many issues that will only be addressed when governments and government policies genuinely value our children."

Miss Burgemeister said the recent survey of children and young people showed 'dreadful' statistics about the wellbeing of the nation's youth.

"The main one that stood out to me would be that one in seven australian children experience bad mental health," she said.

" As a teenager it should be the time of your life where your meant to be having fun, thriving and exploring, now they are stressed about everything and its impacting their mental health."

The national campaign is calling for the introduction of mandatory Child Impact Assessments when government create policies.

"It's incredible initiative and something that is vitally important in valuing the leaders of tomorrow and saying 'we are putting them first'," Miss Burgemeister said.

Although she cannot vote in the upcoming federal election, the young leader said she would be doing as much as possible to ensure politicians don't forget about children and young people.

"We need to start valuing every child because their future is in the politicians hands and they forget that," she said.

Sign the petition: valuingchildreninitiative.good.do/child-impact-assessments/signthepetition/