Margaret Reid

ACT Children’s Week Patron

The theme for Childrens Week this year 2023 is as always from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is Article 31. Paraphrased, Article 31 says “Children have the right to relax play and take part in activities they enjoy, and are appropriate to the age of the child, and they have the right to participate freely in cultural life and the Arts.”

Over recent years there has been an imaginative project supported by the Human Rights Commission Age Discrimination Commissioner, and it is worth reflecting upon it.

It was designed to “use Art to forge connections between generations and break down age discrimination”.

Portraits were painted by teenage artists, of Centenarians. Artists and subjects did not previously know each other, and many did not live in the same State or Territory as each other. The artists were volunteers and the subjects were volunteers. Over 700 portraits were painted by artists from all over Australia. Eventually 100 of them were selected to comprise a touring exhibition to each State and Territory, the last of which was held in Canberra this year.

To appreciate cultural and artistic activities, and to understand older people, children of all ages need to be introduced to them, as happened with this project I have briefly referred to.

Thank you to the Committee and those who make Childrens Week so special in the ACT.