Hester Hornbrook Academy (HHA) is committed to the safety and empowerment of all children and young people. As a Child Safe school, we value every child and young person and every decision we make is governed by our belief in their fundamental right to be protected from all forms of harm.
We believe all children and young people should be supported to express their views and have their views taken seriously. We commit to providing children and young people with opportunities to actively participate in decisions that affect their lives, and we support them to do so.
HHA promotes cultural safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people and for those from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds. HHA provides all of the children and young people we support with the opportunity to connect with their culture and strengthen their sense of belonging and identity.
We support the rights of children and families living with disability and commit to providing opportunities for children with a disability to safely participate in their community. We commit to developing LGBTIQA+ inclusive practices across all our services and creating welcoming and inclusive environments for children, young people and their families.
HHA supports the rights and safety of children, young people who are unable to live at home including those in kinship care.
Inappropriate or harmful behaviour targeting students based on these or other characteristics, such as racism or homophobia, are not tolerated at our school, and any instances identified will be addressed with appropriate consequences.
HHA complies with the National Child Safe Principles and the Victorian Child Safe Standards. The standards are a minimum set of requirements for organisations providing services to children and young people in Victoria. They ensure the safety of children and young people is promoted, child abuse is prevented, and allegations of child abuse are properly responded to.
HHA is committed to and support children’s rights, which are the special human rights protections that children have due to their vulnerability to exploitation and abuse. Under the Convention of the Rights of the Child, which has been ratified by Australia, all children in Australia have the right to:
Be treated fairly no matter what
Have a say about decisions affecting them
Live and grow up healthy
Have people do what is best for them
Know who they are and where they come from
Believe what they want
Find out information and express themselves
Be safe no matter where they are
Be cared for and have a home
Education, play and cultural activities
Help and protection if they need it.
We have robust human resources and recruitment practices for all staff and volunteers supported by regular training and education on child safety to ensure we can fulfil this commitment. All staff and volunteers commit to the child safe principles and expectations outlined in our Code of Conduct.
HHA have clear and detailed policies and procedures about how to respond to complaints and allegations of abuse. We actively commit to reviewing policies and procedures, seeking input from our students, families, staff and volunteers and are working across the sector to continually strengthen our approaches and improve outcomes for children and young people.
Child safety is a shared responsibility. Every person involved in our school has an important role in promoting child safety and wellbeing and promptly raising any issues or concerns about a child’s safety.
There is zero tolerance for any form of child abuse or maltreatment within HHA. Any suspected abuse or maltreatment is treated seriously and responded to promptly with reports being made both internally and to external authorities including police and Child Protection. If you believe a child is at immediate risk of abuse phone 000.