Wujal Wujal kids urged to Speak Up, Be Strong, Be Heard!

Some of the younger attendees receiving some valuable cricketing tips from Daniel, Queensland Police say.

The Speak Up, Be Strong, Be Heard team returned to the community of Wujal Wujal during the recent school holidays, with Queensland Cricket Development Officer Daniel Kearney.

The Speak Up, Be Strong, Be Heard (SUBSBH) project aims to develop an ethos of child protection through increasing community awareness of abuse, strengthening reporting obligations and improving the overarching agency interventions to these matters within the Far North District, in particular discrete Indigenous communities in Cape York and the Torres Strait.

Approximately 40 boys and girls from Wujal Wujal participated in the Queensland Cricket activities and Daniel was clearly impressed with the talent, in particular the cricketing skills displayed by some of the teenage girls.

During the cricket activities, the SUBSBH message was promoted to the participants, many of whom remembered the project team visiting Bloomfield State School in late 2016.

Wujal Wujal Police Officer in Charge, Sergeant Ben Tome and Acting Senior Constable John Wood also participated in the activities.

The kids and some parents then enjoyed a sausage sizzle and light refreshments, put on by the SUBSBH team and Queensland Cricket, all cooked by head chef, Sergeant Tome.

The project team spent time in Wujal Wujal promoting the SUBSBH message through visits to the local Yangka Indigenous artists group, as well as the MyPathways group which organises employment projects within the local community.

Sen Const John Wood makes sure everyone plays by the rules!

Detective Acting Sergeant Tod Dodson from the Cairns Child Protection Investigation Unit said that activities such as sport are an effective tool to engage the community and at the same time, deliver key messages.

“Queensland Cricket’s involvement with us in Wujal Wujal has been vital in assisting us to promote the Speak Up, Be Strong, Be Heard message to the community and it also gives the local youth the opportunity to participate in some fun, healthy activities,” said Detective Sergeant Dodson.

Sergeant Ben Tome was full of praise for the project and said that it has educated members of the local Wujal Wujal community about child abuse, including what is child abuse and the best ways to report child abuse.

“The project targets all community members, with specialised, age appropriate talks from primary school children, right up to the elders of this community,” Sergeant Tome said

“This project delivers an important message and is effective in increasing community awareness of child abuse and encouraging community ownership through engagement and conversations with key stakeholders.

“The Speak Up, Be Strong, Be Heard project has been very well received by the Wujal Wujal community.”

The SUBSBH project team would like to acknowledge the CEO and staff of the Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council, the officers of Wujal Wujal Police, as well as staff at the Clifton Beach Butchery, MyPathways organisation, Queensland Cricket and of course the community of Wujal Wujal for making the project such a success.

Detective Sergeant Todd Dodson chats with the group before introducing Queensland Cricket Development Officer Daniel Kearney.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).