The strong sense of caring in Western Australia for the more than 450,000 children in the State, has been highlighted by the number of entries for a special Children's Week award.
Children (younger than 17 years) make up more than a quarter of the State's population.
Family and Community Development Minister Eric Ripper said today there were a total of 42 high standard entries from across the State, to the Children's Advisory Council Project '92 awards.
The awards recognised community-based and volunteer projects which supported children's rights, positive achievement and self esteem (category one). There were also categories for supporting children with special needs (category two), and supporting the role of parents and the family (category three).
Mr Ripper presented the awards today at the Perth Zoo's Education Centre.
The winners were:
· The Proud Independent Person Program (PIP) at Katanning Primary School, which involved students, parents and teachers in personal growth, community services, environment care and sports participation. (Category one).
· The Parent Tutoring Program at the Rostrata Primary School in Willetton, which was a student-centred, parent-based scheme which provided help for children with special needs such as learning and language difficulties. (Category two).
· The Kalparrin Weekend Workshop, based at Princess Margaret Hospital, Subiaco, for mothers of children with special needs to help them with parenting skills, building support groups and stress management. (Category three).
The Minister said the Government, in partnership with the community, families and parents, was determined to ensure all children received the best possible start in life.
"This determination is demonstrated by the $179 million 'Social Advantage' package, which focused on early intervention and prevention of social problems through increased support to children, parents and families," Mr Ripper said.
"The fundamental objective of the new Department for Community Development (being formed by the amalgamation of the Department for Community Services and the Office of the Family), is a major redirection of resources to helping children - who are our future."
The 'Grow Together' public information campaign now underway, also sought to emphasise the value and importance of children.
The Minister said the Government's philosophy of providing practical, effective support for parents was also demonstrated by the Family Centre program.
Twenty-four new family centres for four-year-old children would be built over the next three years, and a total of 40 would be operating across the State by the start of the 1993 school year.