Celebrating Excellence In Child Protection

Outstanding Victorians have been recognised for their work protecting the wellbeing of children at the 17th annual Victorian Protecting Children Awards.

Minister for Child Protection Luke Donnellan joined more than 300 community leaders, practitioners and advocates this week to celebrate excellence in the child and family services sector at Melbourne’s Olympic Park.

The most prestigious award of the night – the Robin Clark Leadership Award – went to Royal Children’s Hospital Gatehouse Centre Manager Karen Hogan.

Under Karen’s leadership, the Gatehouse Centre has grown to be a service of significant stature and authority in the treatment of sexual assault and trauma suffered by children and young people.

The Robin Clark Making a Difference Award was presented to the Family Drug Treatment Court for their ground-breaking, collaborative, and solutions-focused approach to parent-child reunification.

These awards honour the memory of Robin Clark, a respected and inspirational leader in child, youth and family welfare.

Other award winners include:

  • Minister’s Award for Innovation in Protecting Children – Nugel, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency and CaringLife, Nautilus Media Group
  • CREATE Award – Peter O’Toole, foster carer
  • Commission for Children and Young People; Modelling a Generous Community Award – Russell Mulry, CREATE Foundation
  • Commission for Children and Young People; Walda Blow Award – Hazel Hudson, Njernda
  • Carer Award – Nicole and Ross Mackay, OzChild Home Based Care Program
  • Education Initiative Award – Kerri Bolch, Berwick College

The Victorian Protecting Children Awards provide an opportunity to acknowledge people from across all areas of family services and child protection, along with innovative educational programs, and contributions to policy and practice.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Child Protection Luke Donnellan

“Congratulations to the winners and all our finalists – thank you for your tireless work supporting some of Victoria’s most vulnerable young people.”

“There is no greater calling than protecting vulnerable children – last night we recognised the outstanding commitment and dedication of the entire sector.”

“We’re making the biggest ever expansion of the child protection workforce, because there’s nothing more important than protecting our kids.”