Inaugural Key Assets Australia National Art Competition dinner and celebration

On Monday Night we held our Inaugural Key Assets Australia National Art Competition dinner and celebration.
It was a wonderful night and so humbling to hear the stories and impact of this activity amongst our children, young people, carers and staff.
We had representatives from every State in Australia and over 55 people at the event representing winners in the various categories.

The night commenced with an opportunity for guests to view the art work and share stories and connect with each other.
We then had a welcome and acknowledgment of Country from John Tapau our cultural practice leader in Queensland.
There were a few short speeches and Caroline Brown did a wonderful job of sharing the story and vision of the awards and then Rob Ryan officially launched our Australian Children and Young Person’s participation strategy (off the back of the launch in the UK in 2019).
We then celebrated with a fantastic dinner with lots of joy, discussion, interaction and energy.
The next day’s weather was clear from rain and all our visitors were able to head to Dreamworld for a fun day as part of the winners experience.

Thanks to everyone in each jurisdiction who assisted in pulling this together and of course particular thanks to Caroline Brown for the drive to make this happen and Stacey McLeod the BSM from Tasmania who co-ordinated and worked on the logistics for this program and Janine Aldin BSM from Victoria who assisted till late to help in packing up.

Some highlights for me included multiple stories from carers and young people who said:

“This is the first time I have ever been on a plane” (From a Young Person)

“He is the first person in his family to ever visit another State” (From a Carer)

“Prior to winning this award he was so flat emotionally and depressed, this came at just the right time and has made the world of difference” (From a Carer)

“I am so excited to be here, it’s so nice to meet other people like me from all over Australia” (From a 13 y.o)

“I feel so happy tonight my heart could explode” (From an 8 y.o)

“My Youth worker helped me and art is where I can tell my story” (From a Young person)