Children & Young People

Public Advocate bitmoji

The Children and Young People Commissioner is an independent statutory position that sits within the ACT Human Rights Commission. Ms Jodie Griffiths-Cook is both the Children and Young People Commissioner and the Public Advocate. Find out more information about the role of Public Advocate.

Children and young people are the experts in their own lives. Every child and young person is different and it is important to make sure that children and young people have the chance to tell us about the things that are important to them, and to be involved in making decisions about things that are happening in their lives.

As well as having the right to have their views heard, children and young people also have the right to additional protections that may be needed because they are a child or young person. This is a right to special or positive measures, which requires a higher standard to be adopted in relation to children and young people when considering the application of other rights in the Human Rights Act 2004.

Investing in processes that use the expertise of children and young people will help us to make sure that Canberra is both child-safe and child-friendly, a place where children and young people feel confident that they will be taken seriously about things that matter.

Becoming a Child-Safe, Child-Friendly city involves recognising children and young people as valued members of the community, respecting their thoughts and opinions, and giving them opportunities to participate in decisions that affect their lives. Equally it involves ensuring their rights are upheld and that they are appropriately protected.

This is central to the work of the Children and Young People Commissioner (CYPC).

The role of the CYPC includes:

  • promoting the rights of children and young people;
  • consulting and talking with children and young people;
  • encouraging other organisations to listen to children and young people, and seriously consider their views in decision making;
  • providing advice to government and community agencies about how to improve service delivery for children and young people.

The legislation that describes what we do is:

The best thing about being the Children and Young People Commissioner is being able to:

  • talk to children and young people and find out about the things that really matter for them, and what they think about issues that affect them;
  • take what I hear from children and young people and use this to speak to government, law makers, community advocates, teachers and service providers about how we can make Canberra better for children and young people.

If something is not right, I speak up about it; if something can be done better, I suggest changes. All the ideas and insights that children and young people share with me help shape my work and what I focus on.

This word cloud shows some of the things that I have heard from children and young people.

Word cloud of what kids think

If you would like to know more, or you would like to talk with me, contact us.

Phone: 02 6205 2222 or send an email.