The Victorian Protecting Children Awards recognise dedicated teams and individuals working within government and community services who make protecting children their business every day.
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2019 Award winners

Congratulations to our 2019 Victorian Protecting Children Award winners.

This year saw an outstanding number of nominations.  We acknowledge and appreciate the time and work gone into these nominations.

This year's award ceremony took place on Tuesday 3 September at The Glasshouse, Olympic Park, Melbourne.

View the 2019 Victorian Protecting Children Award winners (Word)  

2019 Award finalists

We are proud to announce the 2019 Victorian Protecting Children Awards finalists.

Congratulations to all our nominees and finalists of 2019.

View the list of the 2019 Award finalists (Word).

About the Awards

The Awards recognise staff working across all areas of the child protection and family support service programs in Victoria by acknowledging the varied work, commitment and dedication to service excellence and leadership at the highest standard, as well as recognising innovative education initiatives and contributions to policy and practice.

The Awards also acknowledge the valuable contribution of individuals and the broader community who play their part to achieve the protection and wellbeing of children and young people, and their families.

Collectively, we all have a responsibility in raising community awareness to help promote, protect, prevent and reduce harm to children and young people, and their families in our community.

We encourage nominations from foster and kinship carers, academics, policy, program, supervisory and direct service staff from community, government or academic organisations in the following fields:

  • Child protection
  • Youth justice
  • Out-of-home care
  • Family support
  • Mentoring and peer education
  • Neighbourhood houses
  • Mental health
  • Alcohol and drug services
  • Family violence services

The Awards bring together workers across the vast and varied spectrum of child protection and family services.

Award categories

The 2019 Victorian Protecting Children Awards recognise excellence in 14 categories. Eight are open to everyone, while six categories are for Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) staff only.

Two of the Victorian Protecting Children Awards honour the memory of the visionary Robin Dennis Clark (1936 - 2001) who greatly influenced child and family related policy and practice in Victoria.

Victorian Protecting Children Awards judges video - Video transcript (Word)

Robin Clark leadership award

This award recognises an individual, team, or group at any level of leadership who inspires others to act wisely and care deeply about achieving the best outcomes for non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal children, young people and their families. They may mentor, support, encourage or educate others. Nominees in this category are leaders or emerging leaders, demonstrating vision and innovation in their approach to practice, policy or research and education.

This award winner will have respect and show inspirational leadership in the field of child, youth and family services, that is the spirit of Robin Clark.

Examples of work may include:

  • A person who has demonstrated outstanding leadership of a campaign or initiative to support sustained improvement in the lives of children, young people and their families
  • A person who, through leadership and or/self-advocacy, has influenced the practice of others to increase the inclusion of vulnerable children and young people in the community
  • A person who works to empower Aboriginal communities through service design and initiatives that prioritise self-determination and self-management.
Robin Clark making a difference award

This award is offered to an individual, team, or group within the child and family service sector, who has made an exceptional contribution to directly improve the lives of non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal children, young people and families in Victoria. This can be in partnership or collaboration with government and non-government agencies.

Winners in this award will strive to achieve excellent practice among those who work with children and families. Their work will show insight, practicality and wisdom.

Examples of work may include:

  • An individual, team, or group who has worked across a variety of roles with in the sector, as a leader, manager, influential thought leader or researcher, advocate and/or frontline worker, and who has an exemplary track record of improving outcomes for children, young people, carers and families
  • An individual, team or group who provides expert, strategic advice to improve support and decision making for children and young people in care
  • An individual, team, or group who has championed the rights of carers, children and young people through the development and delivery of training, financial support, or new innovative models of care
  • An individual, team or group who leads the delivery of innovative trials to improve the outcomes for vulnerable Aboriginal children, carers and families.
Education initiative award

This award recognises an individual, team or group that has demonstrated success improving educational outcomes for non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal children and young people in child protection. This may include mentoring or supporting children in care to engage with and/or make progress within education settings, developing education resources, implementing an innovative approach to bringing the education and child protection systems together, supporting participation in early years and pre-school activities or facilitating access to mainstream education, vocational education (VET), job training or skill building programs.

Examples of work may include:

  • An individual, team or group advocates who creates social enterprise or strategic partnerships to increase access to education opportunities for vulnerable children and young people in out-of-home care.
Minister's award for innovation in protecting children

This award recognises an individual, team or group demonstrating innovative approaches and creative intervention to achieve the best possible outcomes for children, young people and their families. This innovation can be demonstrated across the child, youth and family services sector through case management, education, prevention and early intervention, or the provision of care to children and young people in out-of-home care (including secure welfare services). 

Examples of work may include:

  • Development of new and innovative programs, or strengthening of existing programs, to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and young people
  • An individual, team or group that embeds sustainable change within organisational practices to create more social, economic and civic opportunities for vulnerable children and young people.
Carer award

This award recognises past and present accredited foster or kinship carers who have made a significant contribution to the lives of non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal children and young people where child protection has been involved through the provision of formal foster care in Victoria.

Examples of work may include:

  • A person or persons who has gone above and beyond to provide exceptional care, support and stability to a child or young person in their care
  • A person or persons who has overcome challenges to advocate for children and young people’s needs and create a positive impact on young lives
  • A person or person who demonstrates an understanding of the importance of connection to culture and kin for children and young people in care and works with agencies and child protection to prioritise this connection.
CREATE award

This award gives Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children and young people aged 8 - 25 years the opportunity to nominate someone such as a carer, support worker or agency who has made a positive difference to their lives, particularly through assisting them to have a voice within the out-of-home care system.

This award is managed by the CREATE Foundation and will be judged by a committee of children and young people.

Find more information at the CREATE Foundation website.

The modelling a generous community award

This award recognises someone who has made a significant contribution to enhancing the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable Victorian children; through demonstrating the highest level of sustained personal commitment to meaningfully connecting children to their local community.

Note: This award is managed by the Commission for Children and Young People.

The Walda Blow award

This Award recognises contributions of an Aboriginal person in Victoria to the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people.

Note: This award is managed by the Commission for Children and Young People.

Excellence in child protection award (DHHS staff)

This award recognises an individual, team or group from the Department of Health and Human Services that demonstrates practice excellence, demonstrates innovation, works collaboratively with colleagues by sharing knowledge and information which contributes to positive outcomes, establishes effective partnerships across the department and the sector to achieve enhanced client outcomes. 

Emerging leader in child protection award (DHHS staff)

This award recognises an individual from the Department of Health and Human Services who demonstrates talent as an emerging leader. This individual leads by example, demonstrates innovation and promotes collaboration and stewardship, builds strong relationships that support trust and credibility, and can bring out the best in colleagues and clients.

This individual embraces the department’s core values, has mentoring qualities, creates a culture of respect that fosters an atmosphere of capability and achievement, and is committed to deliver the best outcome for vulnerable children, young people and their families.

Note: One overall winner across all four divisions.

Award criterion: Nominees must be employed at CPP5 and CPP6 level.

Rising star award (DHHS staff)

This award recognises an individual from the Department of Health and Human Services who demonstrates a keen willingness to learn and is committed to providing high quality intervention to children and families. This person is compassionate and a highly motivated individual and is someone who goes above and beyond in delivering a higher standard of excellence in protecting children and young people.

This individual must have a minimum of 24 months employment with the Department of Health and Human Services as at 31 March 2019.

Note: One overall winner across all four divisions.

Award criterion: Nominees must be employed at CPP4 level.

Best new talent award (DHHS staff)

This award recognises an individual from the Department of Health and Human Services who demonstrates professional growth, drive and commitment, with aspiring qualities as a new child protection practitioner.

This individual must be a new comer to the child protection industry and have a maximum of 24 months employment with the Department of Health and Human Services as at 31 March 2019.

Note: One overall winner across all four divisions.

Award criterion: Nominees must be employed at CPP3 level.

Excellence in case practice support award (DHHS staff)

This award recognises an individual, team or group from the Department of Health and Human Services that demonstrates innovative approaches and creative intervention to support positive contact and achieve best possible outcomes between children and young people in out-of-home care, and their families.

Note: One overall winner across all four divisions.

Award criterion: Nominees must be employed at CPP2 level.

Chief Practitioner’s award (DHHS staff)

The Chief Practitioner’s award recognises an individual, team or group working in the Department of Health and Human Services child protection program that promotes best practice, commitment and leadership. This award is aimed exclusively at the department’s child protection practitioners.

Key dates

Nominations period:  9 April - 20 May  

Judging period:  24 May - 23 June 

Screening period: June - August 

Finalists announced: early August 

Awards ceremony: 3 September

Contact

Victorian Protecting Children Awards Secretariat

Phone:+ 61 3 9096 2305

Email: protectingchildren.awards@dhhs.vic .gov.au

Mail: GPO Box 4057, Melbourne 3001, Victoria, Australia