MEDIA RELEASE: 22 October 2021
A Queensland-focussed picture book about children’s rights is set to empower a generation, with The Right to Be Me launched during Queensland Children’s Week (23 to 31 October 2021).
Queensland Family and Child Commission Principal Commissioner Cheryl Vardon said it was important for children to learn about their rights from an early age.
“The Right to Be Me is a beautifully written and illustrated book about children’s rights that will resonate with young children,” Ms Vardon said.
“It’s important we talk to children about serious issues in age-appropriate ways, and this book is an excellent way to communicate a complex idea to a younger audience.
“I am pleased to support the launch of this book during Queensland Children’s Week, which is an opportunity to celebrate the rights of children and for the wider community to rejoice in their talents, skills and abilities.”
Children’s Rights Queensland President Dan Marais said the book was developed in response to calls for more resources about children’s rights.
“The book is a fun and engaging resource for Queensland educators to use in teaching children aged 5 to 10 years about their rights,” Mr Marais said.
“In a first for Queensland, the book features the voices of children from many backgrounds and locations across the state, talking about what children’s rights are and how they can enjoy those rights in practice.
“We were excited to work with Djabugay Aboriginal Corporations, on behalf of the Djabugay Traditional Owners, to include the traditional languages spoken in the Cairns region.
“The book also features the TypeRights font, which was inspired by Queensland children who designed the letters as part of last year’s Children’s Week.
“Given the book’s Queensland focus, we worked with local author Allison Paterson and local illustrator Amanda Letcher to bring the book to life.
Queensland author Allison Paterson said she was honoured to be involved in the creation of a story about children’s rights.
“The telling of stories is an ancient tradition through which we entertain, inspire, record the past and provide life lessons,” Ms Paterson said.
“Stories connect us, help us to make sense of our world and develop our empathy for others.
“My hope is that The Right to Be Me becomes a valuable tool to aid the understanding of children’s rights. Perhaps it may be the spark that ignites the power within us to help preserve and protect the rights of all children—no matter who they are, or where in the world they might be.”
Mr Marais said the book launch coincided with Children’s Rights Queensland’s 50th birthday celebrations, as well as Queensland Children’s Week.
“Children’s Rights Queensland has been advocating for children’s rights for half a century by delivering initiatives that educate, support and build awareness of children’s rights.
“This year’s Children’s Week theme is about children’s right to choose their friends and safely connect with others, which in practice means encouraging children from any background to meet with others, participate safely in activities they enjoy, and talk about the issues that are important to them.
“This year’s theme is relevant given the challenges of the last 18 months, and it was important the book centred around children’s right to connect with others—an activity they haven’t been able to enjoy while the community has managed the pandemic.”
The Right to Be Me is available to download or purchase from the Children’s Rights Queensland website: childrensrightsqld.org.au
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