Keeping our Promises

'Keeping our Promises' is how Helen describes to children the treaties, obligations, legislation, policies and procedures made by leaders, governments, agencies, businesses and adults what they can expect and what they promise to do to positively impact their health, wellbeing, learning and safety. The theme also encapsulates the core of her statutory responsibility to provide, promote, and protect child rights and interests, to ensure that adults keep their promises to all SA children.

This HDA Oration provides an overview of what Helen has learnt during her first term as Commissioner for Children and Young People. What needs to happen to be more child focused in policy and practice and the things adults need to stop and start doing, to ensure they keep promises to all children to support them to live the best lives they can.

Helen Connolly

Helen Connolly, South Australian Commissioner for Children and Young People.

Helen Connolly, South Australian Commissioner for Children and Young People. 

Helen Connolly became South Australia’s first Commissioner for Children and Young People in April 2017. The position was established under the Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016. The Commissioner promotes and advocates for the rights, development and wellbeing of all children and young people in South Australia, with a special focus to engage with and listen to children who aren’t usually heard. Helen has 30 years’ experience as a leader in human services. Throughout her career, Helen has taken an active advocacy role on the main policy issues that impact on the wellbeing of Australian families and children, with a strong focus on early intervention and prevention strategies.

Professor Claire Roberts (HDA Co-Convenor), NHMRC Leadership Fellow / Professor and Matthew Flinders Fellow / Group Leader, Pregnancy Health and Beyond Laboratory (PHaB Lab), College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University.


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