February 19, 2015

Big Day Scout

This article was authored by Dani Colvin,
Coordinator, Partnerships Fundraising and Marketing at the Australian Childhood Foundation.

As a not-for-profit working at the grassroots level to address one of this country’s most pressing social issues, we see great value in helping the community to understand what we’re doing. We know the community has the power to help us make a meaningful difference in the lives of traumatised children. So we want to create opportunities to spread knowledge and ignite people’s passion and desire to be part of this change for children.

This is the premise of the recent television and social media launch of the #NotAnotherChild campaign at the end of 2014. It’s a vehicle to drive a movement to change the way the issue of child abuse is perceived and prioritised on both a community and governmental level in Australia. When we connect, we care, and when we care, we put our hand up and get involved.

Some people have begun to sign on to become campaigners and take the movement concept into their own hands. Others are out in the community fundraising on our behalf through our online fundraising platform. They are joining organised events such as triathlons and marathons, or creating their own events to generate awareness and funding to support our mission.

Recently, we were invited to participate in the Big Day Scout, the largest gathering of Scouts in Victoria in the last 50 years. Held in Federation Square and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne last weekend, the event was a wonderful opportunity for Scouts, their friends and families to gather for all kinds of entertainment and activities, as well as the investiture of the new Victorian Chief Scout.

As a selected supported charity, we were invited to show our #NotAnotherChild television commercial on the big screen at the Music Bowl to a captive audience of 11,000 people. That’s 11,000 people who may not have engaged in any meaningful sense with the issue of child abuse before Sunday, coming away with an appreciation of the scope of the issue in Australia and how it impacts on children, as well as an understanding that the Australian Childhood Foundation exists to save children from abuse and help their recovery from the trauma of their experiences.

We had staff members on site who spent the entire day connecting with hundreds of individuals: not only sharing our story, but having the great privilege of hearing people who chose to share theirs. They could look each other in the eye, and converse in a way that was direct, personal and meaningful.

“When you can engage with people one-on-one, your organisation and its work can be seen in a whole new light,” said Donor Development and Fundraising Coordinator, Kylie White.

“We were seeing people becoming genuinely moved by the plight of so many children and by the work being done to support them. People were stopping to ask so many questions, pick up information brochures, connect the dots and grow in their understanding and engagement with the issue – because in one way or another, this issue really does touch us all.”

It’s from little things like this that bigger things grow: among the questions, the answers, the thanks and the donations, were offers of volunteering and support with time and helping hands. That’s exactly the kind of connecting we want to see happen through #NotAnotherChild; we want people to see that they can make a difference in the lives of children in their own communities and help us do a better job of making children safe and supporting their recovery.

We send our warmest thanks to Big Day Scout for the opportunity and look forward to our next face-to-face with our community.

If you’re interested in becoming a campaigner or raising the profile of this issue you can go to http://www.childhood.org.au/take-action/raise-awareness. We’d love to have you on board.