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Children’s Week™

celebrates the right of children to enjoy childhood and to have a good future.

Each year a particular Article in the UN Rights of the Child is emphasised and this year it is Article 12 about the right of children to have a voice and be heard. There can be few issues as relevant to our children as the changes in our climate and how it will affect their future environment.

As part of Children's Week, we invite people all over Australia, in each and every suburb and town, to stand up and organise an event to let the children speak and be heard on Sunday, October 26th. The theme of the day is based on TREES.

We are not looking for a mass event in the park of a capital city. Instead we are looking simply for untimidating small events in each town and suburb across the whole of Australia, with 5 to 50 children at most.

A Forest of Trees - A Children's Parliament

The concept is for children to create and decorate cut-out trees (about a metre tall that can stand up) expressing their feelings and wishes about the environment in words on the trees.

All kinds of trees - pine trees are easy, but also round trees, eucalypts, palms, trees with birds on them, trees with animals like koalas, trees with messages on leaves - the more different trees, the merrier. At the end of the day, it would be great to see a little forest of children's trees in every town and suburb.

As to designs, there are thousands of ideas on the web and here are just a few to get you going but why not ask the children to draw their own? A group of children could create one large tree or each child could create their own - whatever they wish. You could ask your local school if they would like to talk about climate change during the week and possibly even make the trees in school.

You could have a completely blank tree on which the children stick leaves with messages or a cause and effect tree with the cause at the roots and the effects sprouting from the tree. This could be part of a discussion about the environment, what we consume and how it affects our climate, which in turn comes back affecting our environment.

The trees would preferably be made so that they stand up on their own with a right-angle fold-out support at the back (or they could be flat A4 trees pinned to a large sheet or board). However, photos could later be taken with the children holding up their trees. Another possiblity is making little origami trees!

You could have a collection on the day to collect funds to buy and plant a real tree that the children could enjoy watching grow over the years.

If this catches on, maybe all posters at mass events will be tree shapes instead of plain rectangles!!

After the event, we would like to collect as many photos as possible of what the children produce and possibly videos of what they say. We would then like to post these in an e-book and possibly even a printed book down the track.

Program for the day - Sunday October 26

Suggestion: -

  • Before Sunday 26th Oct, childrent make trees/flowers/birds/animals, etc, write messages on leaves, and prepare other activities, eg speeches, paintings, dances, etc.
  • 10am Sunday: meet at venue (park or hall, church halls are often good and it might be good to offlow on after the church service) to assemble trees and sort out program for 2pm.
  • 2pm: Exhibition/presentation to the general public.
  • Get your local newspapers to take a photo; the children would probably be vey happy to see a photo of themselves in the paper.
  • After the day, please also send photos to AoC for an e-book on the web. 

If the trees are not created beforehand in school, we ask that you consider meeting in the morning, say from 10am, to create the trees, and then invite the general public to a presentation at 2pm at which the children speak and are heard.

Over lunch, try and organise things into a definite program for the afternoon where each child is confident in what is happening.

At 2pm, the children could present other things such as a dance or related sketches and paintings they have drawn.

The children could also present poems and give short speeches. For the latter, please get them to just write a few subjects on a card that they can talk to freely and arrange for someone to prompt them with questions about their subjects to help them get going. You might use one of the trees on the right with a child filling it in and then talking to it, explaining it. Please try and get all children to join in, i.e. those of all abilities and disabilities.

We are calling this a Children's Parliament simply as a gathering of children to 'parley' about their thoughts and feelings on the environment and climate change, and express them to the older one-time 'children', i.e. adults. The word "Parliament" may also help the children to believe that we are taking them seriously and truly listening.

Yes, this is ambitious but let's try this year, learn from our experiences and do things better next year possbly. We'll never know whether it will work unless we try.

Official approval and conditions

Children's Week is overseen by official Children's Week organisations, one in each state, which give approval and support for activities. This has been applied for in each state and the AoC has the approval of the NSW committee so far. This gives us the permission to use the Children's Week logo and there is a possibility of some state funding though we cannot rely on this.

However there is one key proviso in that everything possible is done to maintain the security and safety of the children and that there is no alcohol or drugs at the events. These are obvious requirements but please take care to seen that they are observed in fact on the day.

As people involved are volunteers, we understand you do not need to obtain Children checks or Police checks but these are free to obtain for volunteers and can be obtained simly online (for NSW, click here). Although it is not required, we ask that at least the chief organiser in each community to do this please, for the safety of the children and the reassurance of the children's parents. It's free, literally only takes a few minutes to complete the form but the state department may take a few weeks to reply.

Funding

At Act on Climate, all staff and directors are currently unpaid volunteers.

Act on Climate is applying for DGR status and thence to be a charity. 

All funds donated for this event will be used just for this event and any balance will be kept in trust for Children's Week 2015. No remuneration will be paid to anyone from these donations. Accounts will be posted online as soon as possible after the event.

Let's go for it and let everyone have fun!

Donations

For this event, we will be asking for donations to help cover the costs of materials and so donations are requested tagged by a postcode, so that in the first instance, donations will be used to pay for costs incurred in the local area. If you would like to donate to the running of Children's Week events, please click on this button and follow the prompts. 

You will be returned to this page after the donation is complete and sent an email receipt. Thank you.

Be an Organiser

If you would like to be the person to start organising an event in your town/suburb.

Click here to email us 

Use Paint on Windows or just draw these on boards